Exploratour - The Atmosphere of Mars

Temperatures of the Martian atmosphere.
Click on image for full size

Temperatures in the Atmosphere

The temperature of the Martian surface is cold! Temperatures are about -170 degrees F to 30 degrees F. All of Mars does not necessarily have the temperature of the surface, however. Mars Pathfinder and the Viking mission before that, measured the range of temperatures in the atmosphere. These measurements show that there are regions of the atmosphere which are at the temperature of the surface, regions of the atmosphere which are warm enough for rain (if the atmosphere contained rain clouds), and regions of the atmosphere which are downright hot!

The picture shows that near the surface of Mars the temperatures can be as cold as -150 F (-103 C). Brrrrrr! In the middle of the atmosphere however, the temperature can be a lot colder, -333 F (-203 C)!

In the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere the temperature becomes a lot warmer, 80 F (27 C). 80 degrees sounds almost comfortable! This region of the atmosphere is called the ionosphere, or sometimes the exosphere. It's the region of the atmosphere closest to space and the one which is first exposed to the sun's rays.

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