This is the first image showing clouds of Mars taken from the lander.
Click on image for full size
Image from: JPL/NASA
Weather found by Mars Pathfinder
This is the first image showing clouds of Mars taken from the lander. Scientists know that the clouds are made of water. And there are weather patterns on Mars which resemble terrestrial storms. It is not known whether rain comes from these storms however! Mars Pathfinder set out to record the same kind of temperature and pressure data which is used to diagnose the weather on Earth. Mars Pathfinder also recorded cloud patterns for study later. Some of these can be viewed in the Image Archive below.
Mars Pathfinder found the weather on Mars to be variable. There were light winds (16-35 km/hr - compare these speeds with those on the Earth), gusting both at night and during the day. Cold morning air was warmed by the surface and carried upward, just as it is on Earth. Afternoon temperatures were steady, but the early afternoons were plagued by dust devils, which were repeatedly seen. Dust devils on Mars can sometimes turn into full fledged Global Dust Storms!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
Unlike the Earth, where clouds are found around the entire globe, on Mars, clouds seem only to be found near the equator, as shown in this Hubble telescope image. This may be because water of Mars may...more
You might think that clouds in the sky have to be made of water like those of Earth, but this is not always so. Clouds might be made of carbon dioxide or ammonia. Just take a peek at the planets Jupiter...more
These are the findings of Mars Pathfinder. Rounded Pebbles were found - a result from analysis of the landing site, the rocks, and the soils. there were a variety of rocks deposited by a catastrophic flood...more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001. After a six-month journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The instruments onboard the Mars Odyssey will study the minerals on the surface...more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more
Aerobraking slowed the Mars Global Surveyor down when it reached Mars. Aerobraking also helped MGS to get into the right orbit for mapping the surface of Mars. Aerobraking means that the MGS flew through...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows the results returned from Mars...more