Detection of Mesospheric CO2 Ice Clouds on Mars in Southern Summer

F. Y. Jiang, Roger V. Yelle, S. K. Jain, J. Cui, F. Montmessin, N. M. Schneider, J. Deighan, H. Gröller, L. Verdier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This paper reports the first detections of two high-altitude nighttime CO2 clouds on Mars during southern summer (Ls=264° and Ls=330°) with stellar occultation measurements by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on board the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft. Interpretation of the transmission spectra with Mie theory indicates particle radii of ∼90–110 nm assuming a monodisperse distribution. The altitude profile of extinction indicates that the cloud layers are confined horizontally to sizes less than ∼500–700 km. Examination of the CO2 density and temperature profiles reveals strong wave-like perturbations. Supersaturated temperatures occur at the maximum negative extent of these wave-like perturbations, which are organized in longitude with a dominant m=3 zonal harmonic. This suggests that tides are important in the formation of CO2 clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7962-7971
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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