Special Reports

Summer Evolution of the North Polar Cap of Mars as Observed by OMEGA/Mars Express

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Science  11 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5715, pp. 1581-1584
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109438

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Abstract

The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) visible-infrared imaging spectrometer extensively observed regions of Mars with latitudes above 70°N in late 2004 (heliocentric longitude from Ls 93° to Ls 127°). The extent of water ice at the surface and the size of ice grains were monitored as a function of time. Bright, small-grained frost, which initially covered a large fraction of the polar cap, waned in favor of large-grained ice. In outlying regions, dominated by large-grained ice, the albedo increased over the period. Evaluating the dust content was model dependent. However, contamination of ice by dust was low.

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