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Record Details

Record 50 of 11646
Meteoric Magnesium Ions in the Martian Atmosphere
Author and Affiliation:
Pesnell, William Dean(Nomad Research, Inc., Bowie, MD United States)
Grebowsky, Joseph(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD United States)
Abstract: From a thorough modeling of the altitude profile of meteoritic ionization in the Martian atmosphere we deduce that a persistent layer of magnesium ions should exist around an altitude of 70 km. Based on current estimates of the meteoroid mass flux density, a peak ion density of about 10(exp 4) ions/cm is predicted. Allowing for the uncertainties in all of the model parameters, this value is probably within an order of magnitude of the correct density. Of these parameters, the peak density is most sensitive to the meteoroid mass flux density which directly determines the ablated line density into a source function for Mg. Unlike the terrestrial case, where the metallic ion production is dominated by charge-exchange of the deposited neutral Mg with the ambient ions, Mg+ in the Martian atmosphere is produced predominantly by photoionization. The low ultraviolet absorption of the Martian atmosphere makes Mars an excellent laboratory in which to study meteoric ablation. Resonance lines not seen in the spectra of terrestrial meteors may be visible to a surface observatory in the Martian highlands.
Publication Date: Jan 01, 1999
Document ID:
19990079409
(Acquired Oct 08, 1999)
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Document Type: Preprint
Financial Sponsor: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD United States
Organization Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD United States
Description: 32p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: ATMOSPHERIC IONIZATION; ATMOSPHERIC MODELS; MARS (PLANET); MARS ATMOSPHERE; AEROSPACE ENVIRONMENTS; METEOR TRAILS; METEOROID CONCENTRATION; FLUX DENSITY; ION DENSITY (CONCENTRATION); METAL IONS; ULTRAVIOLET ABSORPTION; MAGNESIUM
Availability Source: Other Sources
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