IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2022A094 PROGRAM_TITLE Mapping of Methane and Searching for Other Organic Molecules During Northern Late Summer/Early Fall on Mars PROGRAM_INV1 Robert Novak PROGRAM_INV2 Michael Mumma PROGRAM_INV3 PROGRAM_INV4 PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT major planets / satellites PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG Measuring methane on Mars using the NASA-IRTF has been performed since 2003. Reports of methane in Mars' atmosphere indicate that the source is relatively local and occurs in the northern hemisphere. Methane column density [~ 45 ppbv] peaks during northern summer [1]. We are seeking three nights to study the early late northern summer/early northern fall on Mars, a season that has not yet been observed. Methane and water absorptions in Mars' atmosphere by placing the slit of iSHELL N/S across the center of the planet using the L3 setting. Absorption spectra of methane and water intersect near 3.3 microns. With Mars being observable for more than six hours per night/day, we intend to construct latitude/longitude maps of atmospheric methane and water for 90 degrees of longitude. On one night, we plan to place the slit E/W on Mars to determine diurnal variations of these gases at various latitudes. We are requesting three visits between February 1 and April 5, 2022 when the Doppler shift between the Earth and Mars is more than 10 km/sec. In addition to methane, the spectral region for ethane and propane absorptions fall within the L3 setting. We hope to identify their presence on Mars, but realistically, we would measure their upper limits. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END