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EU 9: Physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres

Couche de nuages d'acide sulfurique sur Vénus [VMC canal UV sur Venus Express]

This course aims to introducing students with elementary knowledge of physics, chemistry and microphysics for the purpose of studying the atmospheres of telluric planets (Mars, Venus) as well as Titan — through a "comparative planetology" methodology (parallels with the Earth). It emphasizes fundamental processes such as greenhouse effect, atmospheric dynamics, cloud physics, while illustrating those with relevant examples in the Solar System. Throughout the course, complex coupling and feedbacks between dynamics, chemistry and aerosols are also studied.


  • A. Spiga, Université Pierre et Marie Curie [Website]
  • N. Carrasco, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin

Fronts poussiéreux consécutifs à l'activité des ondes baroclines sur Mars [MOC sur Mars Global Surveyor]

Radiative fluxes and equilibrium A. Spiga

Course features : planetary environments, radiative equilibrium, greenhouse effects, feedbacks, radiative-convective equilibrium, troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere

Elementary atmospheric dynamics A. Spiga

Course features : hydrostatic equilibrium, hypsometric equation, atmospheric stability, general circulation, Hadley cell, momentum conservation, gradient wind, seasonal variability.

Atmospheric dynamics : equilibrium and instabilities A. Spiga

Course features : primitive equations for the geophysical fluid, Coriolis and centrifugal force, Rossby number, geostrophic and cyclostrophic equilibrium, thermal wind, numerical models, waves and instabilities, superrotation.

An introduction to chemistry in planetary atmospheres N. Carrasco

Course features : thermochemical equilibrium, non-equilibrium chemistry, surface-atmosphere interactions, photochemical processes, catalytic cycles.

Image composite de Titan aux longueurs d'onde infrarouge et ultraviolet [Cassini-Huygens]

Université Paris-Saclay Sorbonne Université Université Paris-Sud Université Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines Observatoire de Paris Université Denis Diderot Paris Université Paris-Est Créteil Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
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