Mars Weather

Mars is a very cold, windy, dusty planet. View a video from NOVA about the Weather on Mars.

Very low temperatures can damage the rover's electrical system and motors.

High dust levels in the atmosphere can block out sunlight, and dust collecting on the solar panels will lower their efficiency.

The VSSEC Rover uses LIDAR to detect atmospheric dust and water vapour. Wind Speed and direction are detected by a tell-tale, as part of the onboard meteorological system.

Above is an image of frost, or snow, taken by the Mars Viking Lander.

Above is an image of light levels observed by the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, during a dust storm.

Learn more about the role of the Mars Weather Scientist.