DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 4. Mars Atmosphere I
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Monday, October 12, 1998, 9:30-10:20am, Madison Ballroom C

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[4.02] First Results from the Mars Global Surveyor Horizon Science Experiment

Terry Martin (JPL)

The Horizon Science Experiment (HORSE) uses the Mars Horizon Sensor Assembly on the MGS orbiter to measure 15 micrometer band thermal emission from the Martian atmosphere. During the first phase of aerobraking for MGS, from September 1997 through March 1998, one of the four MGS quadrants was pointed well onto the planet consistently during the near-periapsis braking passes, allowing the device to obtain data on the latitudinal variation of middle atmospheric temperature (0.2 - 2 mbar). Of particular interest were the effects of a prominent dust storm at Ls 224, and the strong gradient of temperature near the north polar cap.

The dust storm produced 10-12K warming in the middle atmosphere across the latitude range from -50 to +60 degrees over a time period of 97 hrs. The increase was most pronounced at the longitudes near 330 where the storm originated in the southern hemisphere.

During Ls 260-278, the latitude of steepest latitudinal temperature gradient (the location of the northern polar vortex) varied with longitude in a primarily wave 2 mode, with an amplitude of about 8 degrees and one maximum at 120 longitude. A small wave 1 term is also present.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tzmartin@pop.jpl.nasa.gov

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