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Viking Lander image analysis of Martian atmospheric dustWe have reanalyzed three sets of Viking Lander 1 and 2 (VL1 and VL2) images of the Martian atmosphere to better evaluate the radiative properties of the atmospheric dust particles. The properties of interest are the first two moments of the size distribution, the single-scattering albedo, the dust single-scattering phase function, and the imaginary index of refraction. These properties provide a good definition of the influence that the atmospheric dust has on heating of the atmosphere. Our analysis represents a significant improvement over past analyses (Pollack et al. 1977,1979) by deriving more accurate brightnesses closer to the sun, by carrying out more precise analyses of the data to acquire the quantities of interest, and by using a better representation of scattering by nonspherical particles. The improvements allow us to better define the diffraction peak and hence the size distribution of the particles. For a lognormal particle size distribution, the first two moments of the size distribution, weighted by the geometric cross section, are found. The geometric cross-section weighted mean radius (r(sub eff)) is found to be 1.85 +/- 0.3 microns at VL2 during northern summer when dust loading was low and 1.52 +/- 0.3 microns at VL1 during the first dust storm. In both cases the best cross-section weighted mean variance (nu(eff)) of the size distribution is equal to 0.5 +/- 0.2 microns. The changes in size distribution, and thus radiative properties, do not represent a substantial change in solar energy deposition in the atmosphere over the Pollack et al. (1977,1979) estimates.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Pollack, James B.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Ockert-Bell, Maureen E.
(San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Shepard, Michael K.
(Washington Univ. Saint Louis, MO United States)
Date Acquired
August 18, 2013
Publication Date
March 25, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: MSATT
Volume: 100
Issue: E3
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 154-10-80-01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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