The Mars Pathfinder Atmospheric Structure Investigation/Meteorology (ASI/MET) Experiment

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Science  05 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5344, pp. 1752-1758
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5344.1752

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The Mars Pathfinder atmospheric structure investigation/meteorology (ASI/MET) experiment measured the vertical density, pressure, and temperature structure of the martian atmosphere from the surface to 160 km, and monitored surface meteorology and climate for 83 sols (1 sol = 1 martian day = 24.7 hours). The atmospheric structure and the weather record are similar to those observed by the Viking 1 lander (VL-1) at the same latitude, altitude, and season 21 years ago, but there are differences related to diurnal effects and the surface properties of the landing site. These include a cold nighttime upper atmosphere; atmospheric temperatures that are 10 to 12 degrees kelvin warmer near the surface; light slope-controlled winds; and dust devils, identified by their pressure, wind, and temperature signatures. The results are consistent with the warm, moderately dusty atmosphere seen by VL-1.

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