Malin Space Science Systems banner

MRO MARCI Weather Report for the week of
10 March 2008 – 16 March 2008

Captioned Image Release No. MSSS-22 — 19 March 2008

Martian Weather Between 10 March 2008 and 16 March 2008:

The MARCI acquires a global view of the red planet and its weather patterns every day. Please click and play the Quicktime movie (.mov file) to see how the weather on Mars changed during this time.

During the past week, dust storm activity along the seasonal north polar cap edge had diminished to just a few small transient events. Such a decrease in activity following a regional storm is very common but should be fairly short-lived. Within the next few weeks storm activity along the seasonal north polar cap edge will return to normal seasonal levels. At southern mid-latitudes, storm activity continued to be observed to the west of Argyre. A second storm was observed to move northward into the eastern end of Valles Marineris (the large Martian canyon that is as long as the United States from coast-to-coast), concealing much of Coprates and Eos chasms from orbital view. Afternoon water ice clouds continued to be observed across the northern tropics and over all the major shield volcanoes (Tharsis, Olympus, Elysium, and Alba Patera) as well as in Tempe. Both MER rovers (Spirit in Gusev Crater and Opportunity in Meridiani Planum) continued to see scattered water ice cloud cover but no afternoon dust storm activity.

Earlier Mars Weather Reports are available HERE.

About the Quicktime Movie:
The movie (a .mov file that you can click and play, above) was generated from images obtained by the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). During a nominal operational week, a total of about 273 MARCI images, taken in three of the camera’s seven color filter bands (420, 550, and 600 nanometer wavelengths), are map projected and mosaiced together to produce seven false-color daily global maps. These maps are then projected onto a sphere with north at the top and east to the right and with the mid-afternoon vantage point of an observer in the orbital plane (the imaginary plane that the planet draws out as it circles the Sun). Black areas in the movie are the result of data drops or high angle roll maneuvers by the spacecraft that limit the camera’s view of the planet. Equally-spaced blurry areas that run from south-to-north (bottom-to-top) result from the high off-nadir viewing geometry, a product of the spacecraft’s low-orbit, 250 km x 316 km (155 miles x 196 miles). The movie is rendered at a lower resolution than the intrinsic 1–2 km nadir resolution that the MARCI provides, so that it is practical to view and share via the Internet. The small white circles on these images of Mars indicate the locations of the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Opportunity (on Meridiani Planum) and Spirit (in Gusev Crater). Other locations on Mars referenced in the weather report can be found by referring to the map below. Note that the still image of Mars depicted at the top of this page is a single frame from the Quicktime movie.

Reference Map — Martian Place Names Commonly Mentioned in Mars Weather Reports simple cylindrical map of Mars with various place names indicated
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Citation and Credit
The image(s) and caption are value-added products. MSSS personnel processed the images and wrote the caption information. While the image(s) are in the Public Domain, NASA/JPL/MSSS requests that you credit the source of the image(s). Re-use of the caption text without credit is plagiarism. Please give the proper credit for use of the image(s) and/or caption.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

To cite the image(s) and caption information in a paper or report:
Malin, M. C., B. A. Cantor, M.R. Kennedy, and D.E. Shean (2008), MRO MARCI Weather Report for the week of 10 March 2008 – 16 March 2008, Malin Space Science Systems Captioned Image Release, MSSS-22,

Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) built and operates the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Context Camera (CTX). MSSS also built and operated the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). In addition, MSSS built the Mars Odyssey (ODY) Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) Visible (VIS) camera subsystem, which shares optics with the thermal infrared instrument and is operated at Arizona State University (ASU). MSSS built the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) for the Phoenix Mars Scout lander and in 2008 is designing a camera for the 2011 Juno Mission to Jupiter and is completing camera systems for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission and the 2008 Lunar Reconnassaince Orbiter (LRO).