Global imaging of Mars by Hubble space telescope during the 1995 opposition

Philip B. James, James Bell, R. Todd Clancy, Steven W. Lee, Leonard J. Martin, Michael J. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hubble space telescope (HST) imaging of Mars near the 1995 opposition resulted in excellent synoptic-scale images of the planet during the spring season in the northern hemisphere. Because this season coincides with the aphelion position of Mars in its orbit, it is therefore the most difficult for ground based observation because of the relatively small angular size of Mars. This is the first sequence of images fully utilizing the capability of the new Planetary Camera to produce global synoptic images of the planet. The images reveal bright, discrete clouds associated with topographic features superimposed on a zonal band of condensate clouds between latitudes -10° and 30°; the maximum violet optical depth of the cloud band is about 0.3. In a few instances, the appearance of clouds beyond the morning terminator can be used to infer cloud heights of roughly 8 km. A large, dark albedo feature in the Cerberus region, observed for many years by ground-based observers, has almost disappeared in the 1995 HST images. Other aspects of Mars, such as the north polar cap, appear much as they did during previous oppositions. Although cloudy regions were observed by spacecraft during this season, the HST images uniquely reveal the global extent of significant optical depth clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18883-18890
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research E: Planets
Volume101
Issue numberE8
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Space telescopes
Hubble Space Telescope
mars
Mars
Planets
Imaging techniques
optical thickness
optical depth
Spacecraft
planets
Orbits
planet
Cameras
spring (season)
morning
polar caps
Northern Hemisphere
condensate
albedo
condensates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

James, P. B., Bell, J., Clancy, R. T., Lee, S. W., Martin, L. J., & Wolff, M. J. (1996). Global imaging of Mars by Hubble space telescope during the 1995 opposition. Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, 101(E8), 18883-18890.

Global imaging of Mars by Hubble space telescope during the 1995 opposition. / James, Philip B.; Bell, James; Clancy, R. Todd; Lee, Steven W.; Martin, Leonard J.; Wolff, Michael J.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, Vol. 101, No. E8, 1996, p. 18883-18890.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

James, PB, Bell, J, Clancy, RT, Lee, SW, Martin, LJ & Wolff, MJ 1996, 'Global imaging of Mars by Hubble space telescope during the 1995 opposition', Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets, vol. 101, no. E8, pp. 18883-18890.
James, Philip B. ; Bell, James ; Clancy, R. Todd ; Lee, Steven W. ; Martin, Leonard J. ; Wolff, Michael J. / Global imaging of Mars by Hubble space telescope during the 1995 opposition. In: Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets. 1996 ; Vol. 101, No. E8. pp. 18883-18890.
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