This graphic shows Martian atmospheric temperature data related to seasonal patterns in occurrence of large regional dust storms.  The data shown here were collected by the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of one-half of a Martian year, during 2012 and 2013.

June 9, 2016

This graphic shows Martian atmospheric temperature data related to seasonal patterns in occurrence of large regional dust storms. The data shown here were collected by the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the course of one-half of a Martian year, during 2012 and 2013. The color coding indicates daytime temperatures of a layer of the atmosphere centered about 16 miles (25 kilometers) above ground level, corresponding to the color-key bar at the bottom of the graphic.

Three regional dust storms indicated by increased temperatures are labeled A, B and C. A similar sequence of three large regional dust storms has been seen in atmosphere-temperature data from five other Martian years.

The vertical axis is latitude on Mars, from the north pole at the top to south pole at the bottom. Each graphed data point is an average for all Martian longitudes around the planet. The horizontal axis is the time of year, spanning from the beginning of Mars' southern-hemisphere spring (on the left) to the end of southern-hemisphere summer. This is the half of the year when large Martian dust storms are most active.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, built and operates the Mars Climate Sounder, and manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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