Comment on the Papers Production of Hot Nitrogen Atoms in the Martian Thermosphere by F. Bakalian and Monte Carlo Computations of the Escape of Atomic Nitrogen from Mars by F. Bakalian and R. E. Hartle

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Response or Comment

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In recent articles published in Icarus, Bakalian [2006. Icarus 183, 69–78] discusses and computes the production rates of hot nitrogen atoms in the martian thermosphere due to N2 photodissociation and N+2 dissociative recombination, and Bakalian and Hartle [2006. Icarus 183, 55–68] use a Monte Carlo code to compute the escape rates of nitrogen atoms from Mars due to photodissociation of N2, dissociative recombination of N+2, and pickup ion escape due to photoionization of N atoms above the ionopause. Bakalian concludes that “photodissociation of N2 is the dominant escape mechanism in the martian atmosphere.” We will show that this conclusion is not supportable. In addition, both papers contain scientific errors, misrepresentations, inaccurate referencing, lack of proper attribution, and they fail to place these investigations into the existing extensive body of work on this subject.