Reports

Occultation Experiment: Results of the First Direct Measurement of Mars's Atmosphere and Ionosphere

Science  10 Sep 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3689, pp. 1243-1248
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3689.1243

Abstract

Changes in the frequency, phase, and amplitude of the Mariner IV radio signal, caused by passage through the atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, were observed immediately before and after occultation by the planet. Preliminary analysis of these effects has yielded estimates of the refractivity and density of the atmosphere near the surface, the scale height in the atmosphere, and the electron density profile of the Martian ionosphere. The atmospheric density, temperature, and scale height are lower than previously predicted, as are the maximum density, temperature, scale height, and altitude of the ionosphere.