ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (EMTGO) Mars Atmospheric Global Imaging Experiment (MAGIE) Science Objectives

North polar weather that will be observed by the Mars Atmospheric Global Imaging Experiment (MAGIE)

The Mars Atmospheric Global Imaging Experiment (MAGIE) is designed to acquire daily global images of Mars for at least 1 martian year at 2 visible wavelengths and 2 ultraviolet wavelengths. MAGIE is critical to extending and enhancing the record of continuous daily weather observations that began in April 1999 with the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and continued in October 2006 by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI).

The MAGIE science objectives are:
  • Observe martian atmospheric processes synoptically and at a global scale, providing meteorological context for trace gas observations
  • Map the occurrence of atmospheric ozone
  • Monitor and examine surface features for potential source and sink regions of atmospheric trace gases, providing geologic and surface context
  • Provide meteorological support for the 2018 and 2020s Mars missions

Atmospheric Science

MAGIE will observe the distribution of dust, condensates (water and carbon dioxide clouds), and ozone in the martian atmosphere. The key studies for MAGIE center on daily monitoring of dust storms, dust devils, condensate cloud formations, and variations in ozone content of the atmosphere.

Surface/Atmosphere Interaction

The martian atmosphere interacts with the planet's surface in two known ways: frost can form and sublime away, and wind can blow and move dust around. Potentially there is a third way, where the surface can act as a source (via production or storage) or as a sink (by sequestration or destruction) of atmospheric trace gases. MAGIE images will be used to monitor for such source/sink locations and events, and provide geologic and surface context for trace gas observations. MAGIE will image locations in which dust storms occur, as these indicate areas where there is sufficient loose dust to be blown by the wind. MAGIE images will also show how the brightness and color of the surface varies from place to place over the course of a martian year, which gives some indication of where dust is eroded from, and deposited by, dust storms and dust devils. Finally, MAGIE will monitor the seasonal growth and retreat of the water ice and carbon dioxide ice in the polar regions.


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