Climate, weather, and north polar observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Color Imager

Michael C. Malin, Wendy M. Calvin, Bruce A. Cantor, R. Todd Clancy, Robert M. Haberle, Philip B. James, Peter C. Thomas, Michael J. Wolff, James F. Bell, Steven W. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter observes Mars from a nearly circular, polar orbit. From this vantage point, the Mars Color Imager extends the ∼5 Mars years record of Mars Global Surveyor global, visible-wavelength multi-color observations of meteorological events and adds measurements at three additional visible and two ultraviolet wavelengths. Observations of the global distribution of ozone (which anti-correlates with water vapor) and water ice and dust clouds allow tracking of atmospheric circulation. Regional and local observations emphasize smaller scale atmospheric dynamics, especially those related to dust lifting and subsequent motion. Polar observations detail variations related to the polar heat budget, including changes in polar frosts and ices, and storms generated at high thermal contrast boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-512
Number of pages12
JournalIcarus
Volume194
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Mars
  • atmosphere
  • polar caps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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