We report a new set of stellar occultation measurements for nightside temperature profiles made by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN/Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph that provide evidence for a recurring layer of warm air between 70 and 90 km altitudes in the nightside mesosphere of Mars during Ls = 0–180° in Martian Year 33–34. The nightside profiles reveal a recurring peak of atmospheric temperature around 80 km over the equator to the middle latitudes in the northern hemisphere. The predictions of the Mars Climate Database have a warm layer with much smaller amplitudes. The observed peak amplitudes are larger than those predicted by the model by up to 90 K. Wavenumber-3 structures are seen in the warm layer that are potentially signatures of thermal tides or stationary planetary waves, with amplitudes two times larger than predicted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)