Related topics: nasa · mars · red planet

Mars atmosphere well protected from the solar wind

Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet. New research shows this using measurements from the Swedish ...

New water cycle on Mars discovered

Approximately every two Earth years, when it is summer on the southern hemisphere of Mars, a window opens: Only in this season can water vapor efficiently rise from the lower into the upper Martian atmosphere. There, winds ...

Anxiety abounds at NASA as Mars landing day arrives

A NASA spacecraft's six-month journey to Mars neared its dramatic grand finale Monday in what scientists and engineers hoped would be a soft precision landing on flat red plains.

Mars helicopter attached to NASA's Perseverance rover

With the launch period of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover opening in 14 weeks, final preparations of the spacecraft continue at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In the past week, the assembly, test and launch operations ...

Mystery at Mars pole explained

In 1966, two Caltech scientists were ruminating on the implications of the thin carbon dioxide (CO2) Martian atmosphere first revealed by Mariner IV, a NASA fly-by spacecraft built and flown by JPL. They theorized that Mars, ...

Scientists find likely source of methane on Mars

The mystery of methane on Mars may finally be solved as scientists Monday confirmed the presence of the life-indicating gas on the Red Planet as well as where it might have come from.

page 1 from 19

Atmosphere of Mars

Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has a very different atmosphere than that of the Earth. There has been much interest in studying its composition since the recent detection of a small amount of methane, which may signal life on Mars; it could also be a geochemical process or the result of volcanic or hydrothermal activity.

The atmosphere of Mars is relatively thin, and the atmospheric pressure on the surface varies from around 30 Pa (0.03 kPa) on Olympus Mons's peak to over 1155 Pa (1.155 kPa) in the depths of Hellas Planitia, with a mean surface level pressure of 600 Pa (0.6 kPa, or 6 millibars, or 0.087 psi), compared to Earth's 101.3 kPa, and a total mass of 25 teratonnes, compared to Earth's 5148 teratonnes. However, the scale height of the atmosphere is about 11 km, somewhat higher than Earth's 7 km. The atmosphere on Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, and 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen, water, and methane, for a mean molecular weight of 43.34 g/mole. The atmosphere is quite dusty, giving the Martian sky a tawny color when seen from the surface; data from the Mars Exploration Rovers indicate that the suspended dust particles are roughly 1.5 micrometres across.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA