Washington, Feb 26 : A study by scientists about how the atmospheres of Mars and Venus are affected by carbon monoxide, could help in the atmospheric modeling of both the planets, which in turn could have implications for Earth.
The researchers involved in this study found that the rate at which electrons lose energy to carbon monoxide is greater than that to carbon dioxide at higher levels in the atmospheres of both Mars and Venus.
This finding contributes to the body of knowledge required for modeling of the atmospheres of Mars and Venus, which in turn provides an opportunity to validate the techniques used in modeling of more complicated atmospheres such as that of Earth.
Researchers investigated the process in which free electrons in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus produce vibrational excitation of carbon monoxide.
The electrons have a spread of energies and each energy has a different probability of producing excitation.
The research team calculated this process in detail to produce a parameter called the electron energy transfer rate, which is the rate at which energy is transferred from electrons to carbon monoxide at a particular electron temperature.
Applying this parameter, the researchers discovered that the rate at which electrons lose energy to carbon monoxide is greater than that to carbon dioxide at higher levels in the atmospheres of both Mars and Venus.
Modeling of the atmospheres of other planets is useful because the techniques can be developed and tested on different environments, which are not complicated by biological or human activity.
According to Laurence Campbell from Flinders University, Australia, "The process of validating models of the atmospheres of Mars and Venus would be expected to contribute to the modeling techniques used for the Earth's atmosphere."