Temperatures of the Martian atmosphere as deduced by Mars Pathfinder.
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Courtesy of NASA.
Mars Atmospheric Temperature Profile, from Mars Pathfinder
The temperatures in the atmosphere of Mars are doggone cold! This is a graph which shows just what the temperatures are. The measurements were taken by Mars Pathfinder as it decended through the nighttime air and landed on the surface. The graph shows that where Pathfinder landed (at night), near the surface, the temperature was 170 oK (-150 F - brrrr). In the middle of the atmosphere the temperature got a lot colder, if that is possible, at 70 oK (-333 F)! Then, at the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere the temperatures got a lot warmer, becoming 150 to 300 oK (-190 to 80 F). These temperatures sound almost comfortable. This region of the atmosphere is called the ionosphere, or sometimes the exosphere. It is the region of the atmosphere closest to space, and is the one which is first exposed to the sun's rays.
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