Morning Clouds on Mars

morning_clouds_vikingThe last missions that NASA had with orbits around Mars that were synched to view the morning weather on the planet was the Viking orbiters back in 1976. This picture was taken in August, 1976, and shows water-ice clouds in the Valles Marineris area of equatorial Mars during local morning time. North is to the upper left, and the scene is about 1,000 km across.

Although a few observations of Mars in morning daylight have come from the Viking orbiters and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter, no mission has systematically studied how morning features such as clouds, fogs, and surface frost develop during different Martian seasons on different parts of the planet. NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter is in the process of changing its orbit to begin systematic morning daylight observations.

Image Credit: NASA

4 thoughts on “Morning Clouds on Mars

  1. I thought that we were still trying to prove the existence of water on Mars? And we have known about this since 76?

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