Mars Atmosphere


  §  The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than Earth, with a surface pressure averaging 1/100th that of the  Earths. surface temperatures range from -113oC at the winter pole to 0oC


    The afternoon, maximum, summer temperatures reach a peak of only -12° F, (-25° C). The minimum temperature is -128° F, (-89° C), just prior to sunrise


The clouds on Mars are composed of frozen CO2 particles that form at high altitudes.  Haze and fog occur in the morning and when temperatures are lowest, water vapor is most likely to condense.


Carbon dioxide freezes onto the polar ice cap in the winder and sublimes (changes from a solid directly into a gas) off the polar ice cap in the summer. When the north pole of Mars, for example, is having summer, carbon dioxide (and some water ice) is subliming off and moving away from the pole.

Dust Storms

Large dust storms begin when wind lifts dust into the atmosphere. The dust then absorbs sunlight, warming the air around it. As the warmed air rises, more winds occur, lifting still more dust. As a result, the storm becomes stronger.