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Twilight mesospheric clouds in Jezero as observed by MEDA Radiation and Dust Sensor (RDS)
  • +16
  • Daniel Toledo,
  • Laura Gómez-Martín,
  • Víctor Apéstigue,
  • Ignacio Arruego,
  • Michael D. Smith,
  • Asier Munguira,
  • German Martinez,
  • Priyaben Patel,
  • Agustín Sánchez-Lavega,
  • Mark T Lemmon,
  • Leslie Tamppari,
  • Daniel Viúdez-Moreiras,
  • Ricardo Hueso,
  • Alvaro Vicente-Retortillo,
  • Claire Newman,
  • Ralph D. Lorenz,
  • Margarita Yela,
  • Manuel de la Torre Juárez,
  • José A Rodriguez-Manfredi
Daniel Toledo
Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA), Madrid, Spain.

Corresponding Author:toledocd@inta.es

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Laura Gómez-Martín
Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA), Madrid, Spain.
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Víctor Apéstigue
National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA)
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Ignacio Arruego
INTA
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Michael D. Smith
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Asier Munguira
UPV/EHU
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German Martinez
Lunar and Planetary Institute
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Priyaben Patel
University College London
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Agustín Sánchez-Lavega
Universidad del Pais Vasco UPV/EHU
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Mark T Lemmon
Space Science Institute
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Leslie Tamppari
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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Daniel Viúdez-Moreiras
Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC)
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Ricardo Hueso
UPV/EHU
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Alvaro Vicente-Retortillo
Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA)
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Claire Newman
Aeolis Research
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Ralph D. Lorenz
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
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Margarita Yela
INTA
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Manuel de la Torre Juárez
Jet Propulsion Laboratory- California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
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José A Rodriguez-Manfredi
Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA)
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Abstract

The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrument, on board the NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, includes a number of sensors to characterize the Martian atmosphere. One of this sensors is the Radiation and Dust Sensor (RDS) that measures the solar irradiance at different wavelengths and geometries. We analyzed the RDS observations made during twilight for the period between sol 71 and 492 of the mission (Ls 39◦-262◦) to characterize the clouds over the Perseverance rover site. Using the ratio between the irradiance at zenith at 450 and 750 nm, we inferred that the main constituent of the detected high-altitude aerosol layers was ice from Ls= 39◦ to 150◦ (cloudy period), an dust from Ls 150◦-262◦. A total of 161 twilights were analyzed in the cloudy period using a radiative transfer code and we found: i) signatures of clouds/hazes in the signals in the 58 % of the twilights; ii) most of the clouds had altitudes between 40-50 km, suggesting water ice composition, and had particle sizes between 0.6 and 2 μm; iii) the cloud activity at sunrise is slightly higher that at sunset, likely due to the differences in temperature; iv) the time period with more cloud detections and with the greatest cloud opacities is during Ls 120◦-150◦; and v) a notable decrease in the cloud activity around the aphelion, along with lower cloud altitudes and opacities. This decrease in cloud activity indicates lower concentrations of water vapor or cloud condensation nuclei (dust) around this period in the Martian mesosphere.
16 Mar 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
26 Mar 2023Published in ESS Open Archive