Characterization of dust activity on Mars from MY27 to MY32 by PFS-MEX observations
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We present spatial and temporal distributions of dust on Mars from Ls = 331° in MY 26 until Ls = 80° in MY33 retrieved from the measurements taken by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) aboard Mars Express. In agreement with previous observations, large dust opacity is observed mostly in the southern hemisphere spring/summer and particularly over regions of higher terrain and large topographic variation. We present a comparison with dust opacities obtained from Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) – Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) measurements. We found good consistency between observations of two instruments during overlapping interval (Ls = 331° in MY 26 until Ls = 77° in MY 27). We found a different behavior of the dust opacity with latitude in the various Martian years (inter-annual variations). A global dust storm occurred in MY 28. We observe a different spatial distribution, a later occurrence and dissipation of the dust maximum activity in MY 28 than in other Martian years. A possible precursor signal to the global dust storm in MY 28 is observed at Ls = 200°–235° especially over west Hellas. Heavy dust loads alter atmospheric temperatures. Due to the absorption of solar radiation and emission of infrared radiation to space by dust vertically non-uniformly distributed, a strong heating of high atmospheric levels (40–50 km) and cooling below ∼30 km are observed.
CitationWolkenberg, P.; Giuranna, M.; Grassi, D.; Aronica, A.; Aoki, S.; Scaccabarozzi, D.; Saggine, B. (2018). Characterization of dust activity on Mars from MY27 to MY32 by PFS-MEX observations. , Icarus, Vol. 310, 32-47, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.10.045.