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MRO MARCI Weather Report for the week of
20 October 2014 – 26 October 2014

Captioned Image Release No. MSSS-349 — 29 October 2014

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Martian weather between 20 October 2014 and 26 October 2014:

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.

This past week extensive dust-lifting in numerous areas of the planet contributed to expansive regional scale storms and dust mobilization. Early in the week several storms formed along the Acidalia storm-track, crossing the equator and moving into central Noachis. Concurrently, regional storms in and around Hellas developed and transported dust westward also into Noachis. Towards the end of the week, storms from both of these sources merged to form a large band of suspended dust stretching from Hellas to Argyre. Numerous smaller scale local storms along the south polar seasonal cap edge in Noachis were observed around the same time and also merged with the Acidalia and Hellas events, with the dust-lifting front crossing over into the southern mid-latitudes south of the seasonal cap edge. As the storms merged in Noachis, an additional cross-equatorial storm from Acidalia contributed yet more dust into the region, and storms also picked up within the Argyre basin. By the end of the week, much of the southern hemisphere from Argyre to Hellas and up to Vallis Marineris was affected by storms or residual dust haze. The widespread dust-lifting activity raised global atmospheric opacities to annual highs, as recorded by the Opportunity rover in Meridiani and the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater. While Curiosity experienced increased atmospheric opacities, it was largely spared from direct contact with storms. However Opportunity, just off to the east of the Acidalia storm-track, was less fortunate and experienced extremely hazy skies due to its proximity to areas of dust-lifting along the cross-equatorial storm track. In addition to the extensive regional storm activity affecting the greater Noachis region, local storms continued to develop on a regular basis in the Amazonis region, consistent with activity seen at this time in previous years.

This week’s MARCI “movie” can be downloaded HERE (9.1 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 (2014), MRO MARCI Weather Report for the week of 20 October 2014 – 26 October 2014, Malin Space Science Systems Captioned Image Release, MSSS-349,

Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) built and operates the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Context Camera (CTX), and the Jupiter Orbiter (JUNO) camera (Junocam). 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 2016 Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REX) mission and the 2020 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission.