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M. Kahre, M. Blackmon, J. Murphy, N. Chanover, R. Beebe (New Mexico State University), J. Africano, L. Roberts (The Boeing Company), P. Kervin (Detachment 15, Air Force Research Laboratory)
Data obtained from both ground-based telescopic and orbiting platform observations are useful for determining how the Martian atmospheric dust load and surface albedo vary spatially and temporally. While observations made by spacecraft in orbit around Mars provide the highest spatial resolution, ground-based observations provide the best time of day coverage. Variations in the dust load are extensive during planet-wide dust storms. A global dust storm began on Mars in June 2001. We present data taken from May 2001 through January 2002 obtained with the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and with the Adaptive Optics system on the 3.63-meter AEOS telescope in an attempt to characterize the effects of global dust storms on the surface albedo pattern of the planet. We use TES observations of the 9 \mum dust absorption feature in order to calculate the atmospheric column dust load on the dates of our ground-based observations. Using this information, we subtract out the atmospheric contribution to the overall albedo of the planet in the ground-based images, leaving us with the surface albedo. By comparing the images taken before, during and after the dust storm, we gain insight into how global dust storms affect the surface albedo of Mars and how temporal albedo variations might influence the interannual variability of the occurrence of global dust storms. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation grant AST-0123471 and the NASA grant NAG5-11164. Observations made at the Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS), Maui, Hawaii, USA are the result of collaboration between New Mexico State University and Detachment 15 of the US Air Force Research Laboratory, which owns and operates the MSSS.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.