Mars Science Laboratory aerosol optical depths

Published: 15 September 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/tbh3pg39xc.1
Mark Lemmon


Optical depths at 440 and 880 nm as measured in Gale crater, Mars, by the Mars Science Laboratory Mastcam instrument. The measurements were made using solar images and synthetic aperture photometry to determine solar flux. The results show typical Martian seasonal patterns, several dust storms, and seasonally varying diurnal changes.


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The optical depth data were derived from solar fluxes measured by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mastcam images of the Sun. Images were calibrated, and the solar flux was measured via synthetic aperture photometry. Optical depth was measured using methods analogous to Lemmon et al. [2015]. The two files have 440- and 880-nm measurements, as indicated in the file name. Columns indicate the Product Identifier of the original image archived in the Planetary Data System [Malin, 2013]; the number of sols since local true midnight before landing (i.e., it rounds up to the sol number, and the fractional part is local true solar time divided by 24 hours); areocentric longitude of the Sun; optical depth; and formal uncertainty. Lemmon, M.T., M.J. Wolff, J.F. Bell III, M.D. Smith, B. Cantor, and P.H. Smith (2015). Dust aerosol, clouds, and the atmospheric optical depth record over 5 Mars years of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. Icarus 251, 96-111. DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.03.029. Malin, M., MSL Mars Mast Camera EDR V1.0, NASA Planetary Data System, MSL-M-MASTCAM-2-EDR-IMG-V1.0, 2013. DOI: 10.17189/1520190.


Atmospheric Aerosol, Dust, Mars, Ice