IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2023A047 PROGRAM_TITLE Mapping of Methane, Searching for Other Organic Molecules during Mars' Northern Spring PROGRAM_INV1 Michael Mumma PROGRAM_INV2 Robert Novak PROGRAM_INV3 PROGRAM_INV4 PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT major planets / satellites PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG Our group has been measuring methane on Mars since 2003. Reports of methane in Mars' atmosphere indicate that the source is relatively local and occurs in the northern hemisphere. Our measurements have shown that methane column density [~ 45 ppbv] peaks during northern summer. We are seeking three nights to study the northern spring/southern fall season Mars. We intend to measure methane and water absorptions on Mars by placing the slit N/S across the center of the planet using the L3 setting on iSHELL [absorption spectra of methane and water occur 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. We are requesting three day/night runs between February 15 and April 30, 2023 when the Doppler shift between the Earth and Mars is more than 10 km/sec, enabling the Mars spectra to be shifted from the terrestrial absorptions. 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