J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 6, 2016
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Published online||11 March 2016|
Photochemistry-emission coupled model for Europa and Ganymede
Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Ringlaan-3-Avenue Circulaire, 1180
2 Physikalisch-Meteorologishes Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC), Dorfstrasse 33, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
3 UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), UMR 5274, 38041 Grenoble, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 26 January 2016
In the frame of the JUICE mission, preliminary studies of the Jupiter’s icy moons, such as Ganymede and Europa, are mandatory. The present paper aims at characterizing the impact of the solar UV flux and its variability on their atmospheres. The solar UV radiation is responsible for the photoionization, photodissociation, and photoexcitation processes within planetary atmospheres. A 1-D photoabsorption model has been developed for different observational geometries, on the basis of a neutral atmospheric model. Considering various production and loss mechanisms but also the transport of oxygen atoms, we estimate the red and green line emissions from photo impact-induced excitation only. These dayglow emissions can represent few percent of the global airglow emission, mainly dominated by electron-induced excitation in auroral regions. For limb viewing conditions, red line emission is bright enough to be detected from actual spectrometers, from 338 R to 408 R according to the solar activity. This is also the case for the green line with 8 R at limb viewing. Considering a different neutral atmosphere model, with an O2 column density 50% more important, leads to a 14% increase in the red line emissions for limb viewing close to the surface. This difference could be important enough to infer which neutral model is the most likely. However, uncertainties on the solar UV flux might also prevent to constrain the O2 column density when using ground-based observations in the visible only. The impact of solar flares on the red line emissions for Europa has also been investigated within a planetary space weather context.
Key words: Jovian moons / Aeronomy / Airglow / UV flux / Solar activity
© G. Cessateur et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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