Seminars at FGG

Venus' Nightglow Observation bt VIRTIS on Venus-Express

Speaker: Alessandra Migliorini (IASF-INAF, Roma)

Date and time: 2010-03-16 11:00

Venus is currently studied by the ESA mission Venus-Express, in orbit about the planet since April 2006. In the present work, results obtained by VIRTIS (Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer), one of the 7 instrument currently operating on board the spacecraft, will be discussed, focusing in particular in the nightglow phenomena developed in the upper atmosphere of Venus. The Venus upper atmosphere is the region where two dynamical regimes, the Subsolar to Antisolar flow and the Superrotating retrograde zonal flow, coexist. In addition, breaking by gravity waves alters this picture and this yields a complex circulation highly variable with time and spatially very inhomogeneous. In the same region, from 70 to 120 km, airglows due to oxygen, hydroxyl and nitric oxide take place in the night side of Venus. The nightglows observation is a powerful mean to study the chemistry and dynamics of the upper atmosphere of Venus and the analysis shows a very interesting picture.