It is often useful to have some measure of the solar energy input into a planetary atmosphere for the purpose of determining whether atmospheric phenomena are correlated with solar activity. One useful proxy for solar activity is the solar decimetric radio flux, F10.7, which has been measured daily at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Pinticton, Canada every day at solar noon for over sixty years. More recently, the solar energy input into the Earth’s atmosphere has been measured directly from above the atmosphere by experiments such as NASA’s TIMED/SEE.
Solar energy input into the Venus and Mars atmosphere is more difficult to determine due to a lack of instruments observing the Sun from these planets. Sometimes Venus or Mars is on the same side of the Solar system as the Earth, making extrapolation of the Solar EUV flux straightforward; at other times the planets are on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth and information gathered there is not as useful. NASA’s MAVEN mission will be the first to attempt measurement of the solar input and atmospheric response simultaneously at another planet (Mars). Until it arrives one way to extrapolate from information gathered at Earth to Mars and Venus was described by Mitchell et. al. (2001). The technique uses the positions of the planets to determine when the side of the Sun facing Mars and Venus most recently faced the Earth, and obtains the solar flux measurements made on Earth at that time. A 26-day solar rotation period is assumed, and planetary positions are obtained from JPL Horizons.
The follwing data are presented, scaled and phase-shifted to Venus and Mars from the Earth. For each line in the TIMED/SEE database, as well as the single-pixel lyman alpha values and the total solar flux less than 90 nm, data are presented for the entire time span of the TIMED/SEE experiment from January 22, 2002 through the end of 2013. Solat F10.7 data are presented year-by-year starting in 1948 and ending with 2013. In the plots which accompany the data files, values for all three planets are presented: Venus in yellow, Earth in blue, and Mars in red.
Many thanks to Dave Brain for compiling and hosting a subset of this database.
As usual, you should check with the TIMED/SEE team before relying on their data for publication purposes. For example: while it is included in the phase-shifted and scaled database below, the H I 121.6 nm line value is inaccurate due to poor subtraction of the broad wings of the line by the Level 3 processing routine. The single-pixel value at 121.5 nm is much more accurate, and should capture the solar Lyman alpha line to within 1-2%. Caveats on other data products may apply as well.
Complete TIMED/SEE database scaled and phase-shifted: data
Complete F10.7 database scaled and phase-shifted: data