Airglow in the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

Antonio García Muñoz
Fecha y hora


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There is a multitude of photochemical processes occurring in a planet's atmosphere. Some of these processes occur with an excess of energy and lead to products in the form of excited atoms, molecules and ions.In specific cases, these gases radiate at wavelengths that range from the UV to the NIR. Solar light is the ultimate cause of these airglow emissions, but traditionally one distinguishes between the day airglow (dayglow), and the night airglow (nightglow). The contribution of the Sun to the excitation of the emitting gas is more immediate in the day glow than in the nightglow. The airglow makes it possible to remotely investigate the chemical kinetics, energetic balance and dynamics of a planetary atmosphere. In the talk, I will go over some of the air glow missions that are known to exist in the atmospheres of the Earth, Mars and Venus. The examples illustrate some of my recent work, and include theoretical modelling and the interpretation of observational data. There is a long record of contributions to the nightglow from observations carried out at ground-based telescopes. I will briefly comment some of these.