The goal of this paper is to summarize the experimental data on the atmosphere of Venus obtained after 1985, when the VIRA (Venus International Reference Atmosphere) or COSPAR model was published. Among the most important results that have appeared since then are the following: measurements of the vertical temperature profile by the VEGA spacecraft with high precision and high altitude resolution; measurements made with balloons of the VEGA spacecraft; radio occultation measurements of Magellan, Venera-15, and Venera-16; and temperature profiles derived from the data of infrared spectrometry obtained by Venera-15. The new result as compared to VIRA is the creation of a model of the atmosphere in the altitude range 55 to 100 km dependent on local time. This model is presented in our paper in tabulated form.
The first European mission to Venus (Venus Express) is described. It is based on a repeated use of the Mars Express design with minor modifications dictated in the main by more severe thermal environment at Venus. The main scientific task of the mission is global exploration of the Venusian atmosphere, circumplanetary plasma, and the planet surface from an orbiting spacecraft. The Venus Express payload includes seven instruments, five of which are inherited from the missions Mars Express and Rosetta. Two instruments were specially designed for Venus Express. The advantages of Venus Express in comparison with previous missions are in using advanced instrumentation and methods of remote sounding, as well as a spacecraft with a broad spectrum of capabilities of orbital observations.
An estimate of the feasibility of the ultrahigh-energy cosmic ray and neutrino detection using a lunar satellite-borne radio receiver is presented. The data obtained in the proposed experiment will make resolving the current contradictions in the ultrahigh-energy cosmic ray spectra measured with the major ground-based instruments possible. Moreover, they will enable us to considerably extend the accessible energy range and to check predictions of various models of the origin of the highest-energy particles in the Universe. At the same time the lunar radio detector provides a means of searching for ultrahigh-energy neutrinos with a high sensitivity combined with a very large target effective mass.
The motion of a space object in the gravitational field of the Earth is considered. The object consists of an extended space station and a weight, which is free to move along the cable fixed to the ends of the station. It is assumed that the station is composed of two masses coupled by a weightless rod, while the cable is weightless and non-stretched. The equations of motion of such a system are derived for the case when the motion proceeds in a single plane, while the center of mass of the system moves along a circular geocentric orbit. The conditions of the cable tension (conditions of being on tie) are derived. The phase portrait of the weight motion along the cable is constructed when the station is oriented to the attracting center or is perpendicular to this position. The possibility to leave the tie in this case is analyzed. Equilibrium configurations of the system are found, i.e., such motions of the object under consideration at which the weight does not change its position relative to the station. Lyapunov stability of such configurations is analyzed for two situations: when the station is composed of equal masses and when masses at the ends of the station are different. In particular, for the case of different masses it is established that there exist such positions of equilibrium at which the dumbbell is located at an angle to the direction to the attracting center. In some cases these positions can be stabilized (if the weight is fixed on the cable).
The 3 : 1 mean motion resonance is studied in the planar elliptic restricted three-body problem (Sun-Jupiter-asteroid). Using double numerical averaging, the equations are constructed that describe the secular evolution of eccentricity and perihelion longitude of the asteroid orbit. The region of adiabatic chaos is isolated in the phase space of the system under study.
The infrared spectrometry of Venus in the range 6–45 μm allows one to sound the middle atmosphere of Venus in the altitude range 55–100 km and its cloud layer. This experiment was carried out onboard the Soviet automatic interplanetary Venera-15 station, where the Fourier spectrometer for this spectral range was installed. The measurements have shown that the main component of the cloud layer at all measured latitudes in the northern hemisphere is concentrated sulfuric acid (75–85%). The vertical profiles of temperature and aerosol were reconstructed in a self-consistent manner: the three-dimensional fields of temperature and zonal wind in the altitude range 55–100 km and aerosol at altitudes 55–70 km have been obtained, as well as vertical SO2 profiles and H2O concentration in the upper cloud layer. The solar-related waves at isobaric levels in the fields of temperature, zonal wind, and aerosol were investigated. This experiment has shown the efficiency of the method for investigation of the Venusian atmosphere. The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer has the spectral interval 0.9–45 μm and a spectral resolution of 1.8 cm−1. It will allow one to sound the middle atmosphere (55–100 km) of Venus and its cloud layer on the dayside, as well as the lower atmosphere and the planetary surface on the night side.
The acousto-optic spectrometer of the near infrared range, which is a part of the spectrometer SPICAM onboard the Mars-Express spacecraft, began to operate in the orbit of Mars in January 2004. In the SPICAM experiment, a spectrometer on the basis of an acousto-optic filter was used for the first time to investigate other planets. During one and a half years of operation, the IR channel of SPICAM obtained more than half a million spectra in the 1–1.7 μm range with a resolving power of more than 1500 in different modes of observation: limb, nadir, and solar eclipses. The main goal of the experiment is to study the content of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere by measuring the absorption spectrum in the 1.38 μm band. Characteristics of the instrument (high spectral resolution and signal-to-noise ratio) allow one to solve a number of additional scientific problems including the study of ozone distribution by emission of singlet oxygen (O2 1Δg), detection of the water and carbonic dioxide ices, and also the study of the vertical distribution and optical characteristics of aerosol in the Martian atmosphere. We present a description of the instrument, the results of its ground and in-flight calibrations, and a brief survey of the basic scientific results obtained by the SPICAM spectrometer during a year-and-half of operation.
Application of the mode of azimuthal observations on RATAN-600 has made it possible to realize multiple daily observations . The results of multiwavelength observations of the Sun in this mode point to the existence of sharp spectral irregularities in the polarized radiation of flare-productive active regions (FPARs) producing especially powerful flares . These phenomena occur in a broad range of radio-emission fluxes (0.05-200 s.f.u.), in a rather narrow wavelength band (2-5 cm), and they are recorded during the time interval from several hours to several days before a powerful flare, as well as during the flare. Frequently, such events indicate an eruption of powerful coronal mass ejections and high-energy particle (proton) fluxes, which, when reaching the Earth's magnetosphere, trigger its disturbances. Here, we analyze events in the microwave band connected with the strongest flares which took place on October 28 and November 4, 2003.
Based on the Kohonen algorithm, a self-training neural network is constructed which allows one to classify geomagnetic disturbances using the data on parameters of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field. Such an approach permits one to consider the suggested classification simultaneously as space and physical, since the space origin of disturbances of different kinds is considered within the framework of the classification. As a result of numerical experiments, we have succeeded in isolating basic classes of complexes of disturbed parameters accounting for various events of the space weather, each of which is responsible for corresponding global magnetospheric conditions.
A knowledge base for natural satellites of planets is created. On the basis of observations, new numerical models of motion are constructed for all 96 outer satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. A special database is compiled from all available observational data for natural satellites of planets, as well as a bibliographical database and information system of physical and orbital parameters of planets and satellites. The tools for calculations of ephemerides of all natural satellites (except for the Moon) of planets are developed. They represent the final result of studies and actually incorporate the entire knowledge about dynamics of the satellites of planets. Also developed are special ephemerides in order to observe singular phenomena in the apparent motion of the satellites of planets. A computer environment and the Internet allowed us to concentrate all above-listed options in a single toolkit easily available to any user in the world.
We discuss the results of measurements made with the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard the Mars Express spacecraft. The data were obtained in the beginning of the mission and correspond to the end of summer in the southern hemisphere of Mars (L s ∼ 340°). Three orbits are considered, two of which passed through volcanoes Olympus and Ascraeus Mons (the height above the surface is about +20 km), while the third orbit intersects lowland Hellas (−7 km). The influence of the relief on the properties of the aerosol observed is demonstrated: clouds of water ice with a visual optical thickness of 0.1–0.5 were observed above volcanoes, while only dust was found during the observations (close in time) along the orbit passing through Hellas in low and middle latitudes. This dust is homogeneously mixed with gas and has a reduced optical thickness of 0.25±0.05 (at v = 1100 cm−1). In addition to orographic clouds, ice clouds were observed in this season in the northern polar region. The clouds seen in the images obtained simultaneously by the mapping spectrometer OMEGA confirm the PFS results. Temperature inversion is discovered in the north polar hood below the level 1 mbar with a temperature maximum at about 0.6 mbar. This inversion is associated with descending movements in the Hadley cell.
The results of the satellite low-latitude and mid-latitude measurements of the disturbed plasma concentration, electron temperature, and quasi-stable electric field at heights of ∼900 km after sunset are discussed. It is shown that the sharp fronts of changes in the electron temperature and plasma density observed in the experiment onboard the Intercosmos-Bulgaria-1300 satellite in the low-latitude (and equatorial) outer ionosphere can be related to damping of the oscillations of plasma electrons at local decreases of the plasma density (plasma “pits”) and formation of the vortex plasma structures at density and temperature gradients, which promotes conservation of ionosphere irregularities and makes the fronts of concentration variations steeper. Nonmonotonic variations in the plasma conductivity for the ionosphere currents in unstable plasma can be a cause of observed nonmonotonic disturbances of the vertical component of the “constant” electric field.
The mode of spinning up a low-orbit satellite in the plane of its orbit is studied. In this mode, the satellite rotates around its longitudinal axis (principal central axis of the minimum moment of inertia), which executes small oscillations with respect to the normal to the orbit plane; the angular velocity of the rotation around the longitudinal axis is several tenths of a degree per second. Gravitational and restoring aerodynamic moments were taken into account in the equations of satellite's motion, as well as a dissipative moment from eddy currents induced in the shell of the satellite by the Earth's magnetic field. A small parameter characterizing deviation of the satellite from a dynamically symmetric shape and nongravitational external moments are introduced into the equations. A two-dimensional integral surface of the equations of motion, describing quasistationary rotations of the satellite close to cylindrical precession of the corresponding symmetrical satellite in a gravitational field, has been studied by the method of small parameter and numerically. We propose to consider such quasistationary rotations as unperturbed motions of the satellite in the spin-up mode.
The results of comparison of the characteristics of sharp boundaries of small-scale and medium-scale solar wind structures in the case of their simultaneous observation on widely spaced spacecraft are described. It is shown that even very sharp boundaries, with duration of several seconds or fractions of a second, retain their amplitude and remain very sharp during solar wind propagation to distances of up to a million kilometers.
Using GPS satellites, the existence of ionospheric disturbances in the range of planetary wave periods is established based on global variations of the total electron content in the mid-latitude ionosphere in the summer months of 1990. For quasi-two-day variations, a substantial difference is found of the structure of these variations from variations with the same quasi-period in the atmosphere. In addition, it is demonstrated that the ionospheric response to quasi-seven-day atmospheric variations is a more general phenomenon than was commonly believed before. The observed variations of the total electron content are interpreted as a consequence of the modulation of tidal oscillations by planetary waves.
On the base of the laser altimetry results obtained using the orbital altimeter MOLA (the MGS mission) and the data of radio occultation experiments of transionospheric sounding of the Mars ionosphere, a method for interpretation of the planet radar sounding data is developed. The proposed method includes a program package for numerical simulation of the process of radiowave propagation through the media under study.
The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn essentially influence temperature fields, the atmosphere circulation, and transport of water in the atmosphere. On the basis of the method of moments, we proposed and implemented as a model of general circulation of the Martian atmosphere a mathematical tool which allows one to calculate ab initio microphysical processes in water clouds and their macroscopic properties. We present some examples of comparing the model with the data of recent Martian missions and consider the influence of separate elements of the climate system on the seasonal hydrologic cycle of the planet.
The variations in the deviation of the observed position of the magnetosphere boundary from its mean position predicted by the Shue at al., 1997 (Sh97) model  are studied as a function of the substorm activity level (the AE-index value) and magnetic storm intensity (the value of the corrected D st * index). The results obtained make it possible to state that the amplitude of motion of the magnetospheric boundary on the dayside and in the low-latitude tail is small. It is likely that the position of the boundary is either independent of the AE and D st * indices or this dependence is weak. At the same time, the boundary of the high-latitude tail shifts inward on the average by 1.5R E with an increase of the AE-index in the case of absence of magnetic storms (contraction of the magnetospheric tail). On the contrary, in the presence of magnetic storms, this boundary shifts outward by up to 3R E with an increase of the AE-index (inflation of the magnetospheric tail). It is also shown that the boundary of the high-latitude tail moves outward with an increase of the D st * index, both at low substorm activity and in periods of high substorm activity. The amplitude of the outward motion of the high-latitude tail of the magnetosphere is by a factor of two higher for moderate magnetic storms with strong substorms than for moderate magnetic storms with weak substorms.
The behavior of small-scale irregularities of the electron density, which can exist in the near-Earth plasma at the ionospheric and magnetospheric heights is studied. They can be of both natural and artificial origin. The kinetic approach is used, and the Vlasov-Poisson system of equations is numerically solved using the method of large particles. In the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field, the evolution of a single irregularity having a circular cross-section at the initial moment is calculated. The influence of the transverse dimension of the irregularity and the value of deviation from electro-neutrality at the initial moment on the parameters characterizing the process of irregularity evolution is studied.