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MRO MARCI Weather Report for the week of
29 April 2013 – 5 May 2013

Captioned Image Release No. MSSS-272 — 8 May 2013

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Martian weather between 29 April 2013 and 5 May 2013:

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.

As is typical for the early-to-mid northern winter / southern summer season on Mars, a large regional dust storm developed along the Acidalia-Chryse storm-track last week, crossing the equator and expanding southward into the southern sub-tropics. By the end of the week an opaque dust cloud lingered in the southern mid-latitudes across a ~2800km-wide band extending from Aonia to Noachis. Although the dust storm passed well to the west of the Opportunity rover in Meridiani, elevated levels of atmospheric dust are expected over the rover site in the coming week as suspended residual particulates in the atmosphere are transported eastward by the southern tropical circulation. Further to the west the storm passed over the eastern half of Valles Marineris, obscuring the canyon floor from view for most of the week. Elsewhere, small-scale dust storms occurred in Utopia, Tempe, Arcadia, Amazonis, and the Phlegra Montes. Polar hood water ice clouds were present in the northern mid-to-high latitudes, extending as far south as 30N latitude in Acidalia. Diffuse water ice clouds were consistently observed over Arsia Mons and transiently in Solis, Tyrrhena, and in southern Cimmeria. On the other side of the planet from the regional storm, skies above the Curiousity rover site in Gale crater remained relatively clear and storm-free.

This week’s MARCI “movie” can be downloaded HERE (7.8 MB .mov file).

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 Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity (on Meridiani Planum), and the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity (in Gale 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-Caltech/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-Caltech/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-Caltech/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. Wu, and L. M. Saper (2013), MRO MARCI Weather Report for the week of 29 April 2013 – 5 May 2013, Malin Space Science Systems Captioned Image Release, MSSS-272,

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 also built the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) for the Phoenix Mars Scout lander and the suite of high resolution cameras aboard the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). MSSS is currently working on cameras for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission and the 2011 Juno Mission to Jupiter.