Atmospheric imaging results from the Mars exploration rovers: Spirit and Opportunity

TitleAtmospheric imaging results from the Mars exploration rovers: Spirit and Opportunity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsLemmon MT, Wolff MJ, Smith MD, Clancy R T, Banfield D, Landis GA, Ghosh S, Smith PH, Spanovich N, Whitney B, Whelley PL, Greeley R, Thompson SD, Bell, III JF, Squyres SW
JournalScienceScience
Volume306
Pagination1753-1756
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number0036-8075
Accession NumberWOS:000225630800045
Abstract

A visible atmospheric optical depth of 0.9 was measured by the Spirit rover at Gusev crater and by the Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planum. Optical depth decreased by about 0.6 to 0.7% per sol through both 90-sol primary missions. The vertical distribution of atmospheric dust at Gusev crater was consistent with uniform mixing, with a measured scale height of 11.56+/-0.62 kilometers. The dust's cross section weighted mean radius was 1.47+/-0.21 micrometers (mum) at Gusev and 1.52+/-0.18 pm at Meridiani. Comparison of visible optical depths with 9-mum optical depths shows a visible-to-infrared optical depth ratio of 2.0+/-0.2 for comparison with previous monitoring of infrared optical depths.