Martian phase function: Modeling the visible to near-infrared surface photometric function using HST-WFPC2 data

Jason M. Soderblom, James F. Bell, Min Y.H. Hubbard, Michael J. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Images of Mars in the visible to near-infrared acquired from 1996 to 2005 using the Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 have been used to model the martian surface photometric function at 502, 673, 953, and 1042 nm. These data range in spatial resolution from 12 to 70 km/pixel at the sub-Earth point, and in phase angle coverage from 0.34° to 40.5°. The WFPC2 images have been calibrated to radiance factor or I / F and projected to a cylindrical map for coregistration and comparison to similarly mapped spacecraft data sets of albedo, topography, thermal inertia, composition, and geology. We modeled the observed I / F as a function of phase angle using Minnaert, Lambert, lunar-Lambert, and Hapke photometric functions for numerous regions of interest binned into albedo units defined by Viking and TES albedo maps, and thermal-inertia units defined by TES thermal-inertia maps. Visibly opaque water-ice clouds and data acquired under high dust opacity conditions were excluded from the analysis. Our modeling suggests that under average to low atmospheric dust opacity conditions and over this range of phase angles, the photometric properties of the martian surface at 502, 673, 953, and 1042 nm are best modeled by lunar-Lambert functions with parameters derived for three surface units defined by low, moderate, and high TES bolometric albedos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-423
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Mars
  • Photometry
  • Spectrophotometry
  • surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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