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03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
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01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
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03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
03.21.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter By the Numbers
03.01.2016 MRO sees Frosty Spring Slopes
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.10.2016 Wind at Work
11.16.2015 Change Observed in Martian Sand Dune
10.05.2015 'The Martian' Story's Ares 4 Landing Site
10.05.2015 The Ares 3 Landing Site (Figure A)
09.30.2015 Avalanche Ho!
06.29.2015 Mars Exploration Zone Layout Considerations
06.17.2015 Active High-Latitude Dune Gullies
06.03.2015 Crisp Crater in Sirenum Fossae
05.20.2015 Sedimentary Rock Layers on a Crater Floor
05.20.2015 Honey, I Shrunk the Mesas
05.11.2015 Icy Wonderland
05.04.2015 Diverse Orbits Around Mars
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03.27.2015 A Smile a Day....
03.25.2015 Pitted Landforms in Southern Hellas Planitia
03.12.2015 Curiosity Heading Away from 'Pahrump Hills'
02.18.2015 Lava Flow Near the Base of Olympus Mons
02.09.2015 Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos, Mars
02.04.2015 Curiosity Rover at 'Pahrump Hills'
01.22.2015 Frost on Crater Slope
Scanning Martian Atmospheric TemperaturesThis graphic depicts the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter measuring the temperature of a cross section of the Martian atmosphere as the orbiter passes above the south polar region.
The Mars Climate Sounder is an infrared radiometer that can be pointed sideways for detecting temperatures at different elevations above the surface of the planet. Multiple measurements since MRO arrived at Mars in 2006 have provided a record of atmospheric temperatures at different times of day on both the sunlit (daytime) and dark (nighttime) portions of the planet.
The data indicate that temperatures rise and fall not just once a day, as might be expected from simple warming by the sun, but twice, with a rise during the nighttime as well as during daytime. Researchers have identified the cause for this pattern to be the thin water-ice clouds that form in the equatorial region of Mars. The water-ice clouds absorb infrared light emitted from the Martian surface, and that absorption heats the middle atmosphere.
In the graphic, orange and yellow represent higher temperature than green or blue. These results are described in a paper being published by the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, provided the Mars Climate Sounder instrument and manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech