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Thermal structure of Mars’ middle and upper atmosphere: Understanding the impacts of dynamics and solar forcing
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  • Emmaris Soto,
  • Sonal Jain,
  • J. Evans,
  • Justin Deighan,
  • Nicholas Schneider,
  • Stephen Bougher
Emmaris Soto
Computational Physics Inc. Springfield

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Sonal Jain
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
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J. Evans
Computational Physics, Inc.
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Justin Deighan
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
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Nicholas Schneider
Univ Colorado
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Stephen Bougher
Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Department
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We report six years of observations of dayside temperatures of the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars made by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument aboard the MAVEN spacecraft. Thermospheric temperatures show strong long-term variability associated with Martian season and solar cycle. Temperatures from both the Martian thermosphere and mesosphere show strong short-term variability indicating coupling from the lower atmosphere. The observed local time effect is strong in both upper and middle atmosphere temperatures. The thermosphere tends to be colder in the morning compared to the evening when temperatures are higher. Middle atmospheric temperatures show cooling during the dawn and dusk hours. Our analysis shows strong tidal activity during aphelion, whereas non-migrating tides are suppressed during perihelion, possibly due to increased dust activity. Observations during the deep minimum of solar cycle 24 reveal that thermospheric temperatures are highly variable with respect to local time if solar forcing, Mars-Sun distance, and spatial effects are removed. We will discuss these results in the context of coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere of Mars.