Thérèse Encrenaz

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The recent identification of large deposits of sulphates by remote sensing and in situ observations has been considered evidence of the past presence of liquid water on Mars. Here we report the unambiguous detection of diverse phyllosilicates, a family of aqueous alteration products, on the basis of observations by the OMEGA imaging spectrometer on board(More)
Global mineralogical mapping of Mars by the Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité (OMEGA) instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft provides new information on Mars' geological and climatic history. Phyllosilicates formed by aqueous alteration very early in the planet's history (the "phyllocian" era) are(More)
We report a detection of methane in the martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard the Mars Express spacecraft. The global average methane mixing ratio is found to be 10 +/- 5 parts per billion by volume (ppbv). However, the mixing ratio varies between 0 and 30 ppbv over the planet. The source of methane could be either biogenic or(More)
We present our current understanding of the composition, vertical mixing, cloud structure and the origin of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Available observations point to a much more vigorous vertical mixing in Saturn's middle-upper atmosphere than in Jupiter's. The nearly cloud-free nature of the Galileo probe entry site, a 5-micron hotspot, is(More)
Hydrogen radicals are produced in the martian atmosphere by the photolysis of water vapour and subsequently initiate catalytic cycles that recycle carbon dioxide from its photolysis product carbon monoxide. These processes provide a qualitative explanation for the stability of the atmosphere of Mars, which contains 95 per cent carbon dioxide. Balancing(More)
Giant planet atmospheric composition and satellite densities provide insights into protoplanetary disk conditions. Abundances of condensable species and noble gases in well-mixed atmospheres can distinguish among several giant planet formation scenarios, and satellite densities are fi rst order measurements of ice:rock ratios. Recent work on protosolar(More)
We have analysed the ISO-SWS spectrum of Jupiter in the 12–16 µm range, where several hydrocarbons exhibit rovibrational bands. Using temperature information from the methane and hydrogen emissions, we derive the mixing ratios (q) of acetylene and ethane at two independent pressure levels. For acetylene, we find q = (8.9 +1.1 −0.6) × 10 −7 at 0.3 mbar and q(More)
Venus has no seasons, slow rotation and a very massive atmosphere, which is mainly carbon dioxide with clouds primarily of sulphuric acid droplets. Infrared observations by previous missions to Venus revealed a bright 'dipole' feature surrounded by a cold 'collar' at its north pole. The polar dipole is a 'double-eye' feature at the centre of a vast vortex(More)
The upper atmosphere of a planet is a transition region in which energy is transferred between the deeper atmosphere and outer space. Molecular emissions from the upper atmosphere (90-120 km altitude) of Venus can be used to investigate the energetics and to trace the circulation of this hitherto little-studied region. Previous spacecraft and ground-based(More)
Although water vapour is the main species observed in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and water is the major constituent of cometary nuclei, limited evidence for exposed water-ice regions on the surface of the nucleus has been found so far. The absence of large regions of exposed water ice seems a common finding on the surfaces of many of the(More)