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The atmosphere of Mars as observed by InSight

Don Banfield 1 Aymeric Spiga 2 Claire Newman 3 François Forget 2 Mark Lemmon 4 Ralph Lorenz 5 Naomi Murdoch 6 Daniel Viudez-Moreiras 7 Jorge Pla-Garcia 7, 4 Raphaël Garcia 6 Philippe Lognonné 8, 9 Özgür Karatekin 10 Clement Perrin 8 Léo Martire 6 Nicholas Teanby 11 Bart Van Hove 10 Justin Maki 12 Balthasar Kenda 8 Nils Mueller 13 Sébastien Rodriguez 8, 9 Taichi Kawamura 8 John Mcclean 14 Alexander Stott 14 Constantinos Charalambous 14 Ehouarn Millour 2 Catherine Johnson 15 Anna Mittelholz 15 Anni Määttänen 16 Stephen Lewis 17 John Clinton 18 Simon Stähler 19 Savas Ceylan 19 Domenico Giardini 19 Tristram Warren 20 William Pike 14 Ingrid Daubar 21 Matthew Golombek 12 Lucie Rolland 22 Rudolf Widmer-Schnidrig 23 David Mimoun 6 Eric Beucler 24 Alice Jacob 8 Antoine Lucas 8 Mariah Baker 25, 26 Veronique Ansan 24 Kenneth Hurst 12 Luis Mora-Sotomayor 7 Sara Navarro 7 Josefina Torres 7 Alain Lepinette 7 Antonio Molina 7 Mercedes Marin-Jimenez 7 Javier Gómez-Elvira 7 Veronica Peinado 7 Jose-Antonio Rodriguez-Manfredi 7 Brian Carcich 1 Stephen Sackett 1 Christopher Russell 27 Tilman Spohn 13 Suzanne Smrekar 12 W. Bruce Banerdt 12
Abstract : The atmosphere of Mars is thin, although rich in dust aerosols, and covers a dry surface. As such, Mars provides an opportunity to expand our knowledge of atmospheres beyond that attainable from the atmosphere of the Earth. The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander is measuring Mars’s atmosphere with unprecedented continuity, accuracy and sampling frequency. Here we show that InSight unveils new atmospheric phenomena at Mars, especially in the higher-frequency range, and extends our understanding of Mars’s meteorology at all scales. InSight is uniquely sensitive to large-scale and regional weather and obtained detailed in situ coverage of a regional dust storm on Mars. Images have enabled high-altitude wind speeds to be measured and revealed airglow—faint emissions produced by photochemical reactions—in the middle atmosphere. InSight observations show a paradox of aeolian science on Mars: despite having the largest recorded Martian vortex activity and dust-devil tracks close to the lander, no visible dust devils have been seen. Meteorological measurements have produced a catalogue of atmospheric gravity waves, which included bores (soliton-like waves). From these measurements, we have discovered Martian infrasound and unexpected similarities between atmospheric turbulence on Earth and Mars. We suggest that the observations of Mars’s atmosphere by InSight will be key for prediction capabilities and future exploration.
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Don Banfield, Aymeric Spiga, Claire Newman, François Forget, Mark Lemmon, et al.. The atmosphere of Mars as observed by InSight. Nature Geoscience, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 13 (3), pp.190-198. ⟨10.1038/s41561-020-0534-0⟩. ⟨hal-02641370v2⟩

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