Atmospheric imaging results from the Mars exploration rovers: Spirit and opportunity

M. T. Lemmon, M. J. Wolff, M. D. Smith, R. T. Clancy, D. Banfield, G. A. Landis, A. Ghosh, P. H. Smith, N. Spanovich, B. Whitney, P. Whelley, R. Greeley, S. Thompson, J. F. Bell, S. W. Squyres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


A visible atmospheric optical depth of 0.9 was measured by the Spirit rover at Gusev crater and by the Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planum. Optical depth decreased by about 0.6 to 0.7% per sol through both 90-sol primary missions. The vertical distribution of atmospheric dust at Gusev crater was consistent with uniform mixing, with a measured scale height of 11.56 ± 0.62 kilometers. The dust's cross section weighted mean radius was 1.47 ± 0.21 micrometers (μm) at Gusev and 1.52 ± 0.18 μm at Meridiani. Comparison of visible optical depths with 9-μm optical depths shows a visibie-to-infrared optical depth ratio of 2.0 ± 0.2 for comparison with previous monitoring of infrared optical depths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1753-1756
Number of pages4
Issue number5702
StatePublished - Dec 3 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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