36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 38 Mars Surface and Water
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[38.06] Surface and Near-Surface Atmospheric Temperatures for the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

N. Spanovich (University of Arizona), M. D. Smith (NASA Goddard), P. H. Smith (University of Arizona), M. J. Wolff (Space Science Institute), J. R. Murphy (New Mexico State University), P. R. Christensen (Arizona State University), S. W. Squyres (Cornell University)

Downward looking surface spectra from the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), onboard each of the two Mars Exploration Rovers, are modeled in order to extract surface and near-surface atmospheric temperatures. By fitting the observed radiance in the vicinity of the 15-micron CO2 absorption feature, the surface temperature and the near-surface atmospheric temperature, approximately 110 cm above the surface, are determined. These temperatures from all sols are combined to create a diurnal temperature curve. This curve shows near-surface atmospheric temperatures consistently 20 K cooler than the surface temperatures in the warmest part of each sol (Martian day), which is between 13h00-14h00 LST depending on the landing site. Seasonal cooling trends are seen in the data by displaying the temperatures as a function of sol over the first 180 sols of each mission. In addition, long ground stares (8.5 minutes in duration) show as much as 8 K fluctuations in the near-surface atmospheric temperatures during the early afternoon hours when the atmosphere is unstable.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.