One Martian year of atmospheric observations using MER Mini-TES

Michael D. Smith, Michael J. Wolff, Nicole Spanovich, Amitabha Ghosh, Don Banfield, Philip Christensen, Geoffrey A. Landis, Steven W. Squyres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


The Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landed on the surface of Mars in January 2004. Thermal infrared spectra taken by the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) instrument on board each rover, collected in both the upward-looking and downward-looking geometries, has allowed for the retrieval of atmospheric temperatures between 1 and 2000 m above the surface, the column optical depth of dust, and the column abundance of water vapor for more than one full Martian year. During this period, Mini-TES has observed the annual cycle of temperature variations, the diurnal growth and decay of a near-surface highly superadiabatic layer, and random temperature fluctuations on a timescale of less than a minute. Mini-TES observations also record the timing, duration, and intensity of several local-scale and regional-scale dust storms and the annual variation of water vapor abundance at the two rover locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE12S13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 20 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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