05.15.2017 Putting Martian 'Tribulation' Behind
05.15.2017 From 'Tribulation' to 'Perseverance' on Mars
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop Team
04.20.2017 Subcritical Water Extractor
04.20.2017 Chemical Laptop
04.20.2017 Atacama Landscape
03.30.2017 Measuring Mars' Atmosphere Loss
03.29.2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Theisinger
03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.21.2017 Break in Raised Tread on Curiosity Wheel
03.17.2017 COBALT/JPL team
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.27.2017 Swirling Dust in Gale Crater, Mars, Sol 1613
02.27.2017 Dust Devil Passes Near Martian Sand Dune
02.27.2017 Sand Moving Under Curiosity, One Day to Next
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
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