October 14, 2014

Summer evolution of the north polar cap of Mars as observed by OMEGA/Mars express

Langevin Y., Poulet F., Bibring J.-P., Schmitt B., Doute S., Gondet B.

Summary: The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) visible-infrared imaging spectrometer extensively observed regions of Mars with latitudes above 70°N in late 2004 (heliocentric longitude from Ls 93° to Ls 127°). The extent of water ice at the surface and the size of ice grains were monitored as a function of time. Bright, small-grained frost, which initially covered a large fraction of the polar cap, waned in favor of large-grained ice. In outlying regions, dominated by large-grained ice, the albedo increased over the period. Evaluating the dust content was model dependent. However, contamination of ice by dust was low.