Mars Climate Sounder has been observing the Martian atmosphere for one and a third Mars years and has collected 794 days of scientifically useful data. This includes almost 36 million individual soundings at Mars.
Over the last nine months, we have been seeing the same Martian seasons as were observed during the start of the mission, providing interesting observations of interannual variability. Mars is currently in the late southern spring, which is often called the dust storm season.
Significant Events Since the Last Update:
In April and May 2008, Mars Climate Sounder supported the approach and landing
of the Phoenix mission by providing
near-real-time atmospheric updates and weather predictions. Over last summer (through November 2008), MCS then participated with Phoenix in a joint campaign to simultaneously study the atmosphere above the lander from orbit and from the surface.
error that has occasionally plagued Mars Climate Sounder's
operations started to recur last March, but remained manageable throught
the Phoenix activites. It then disappeared again in October. There have now been five months of trouble-free operations.
This paper describes the southern polar winter as seen by Mars Climate Sounder,
showing a more intense warming than expected from Martian models. The
more intense warming implies that the global circulation pattern is faster
This describes one of the major patterns Mars Climate Sounder is seeing
in the temperature field, which is due to solar forced thermal tides. While
the pattern was predicted from models and theoretical efforts, it has not
been characterized this clearly in the past.