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New Type of Dust Discovered on Mars
Jul 23, 2014

A weird new kind of dust has been discovered in the Mars atmosphere by scientists using ultraviolet and infrared imaging techniques. A group of Russian and French scientists analysed satellite-acquired data and concluded that the dust particles in the planet’s atmosphere can be of two types.

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Paris Observatory and LATMOS research laboratory carried out a simultaneous analysis of the ultraviolet and infrared atmospheric extinctions from SPICAM, the spectrometer on the board of the orbital station Mars Express.

The results were received during the solar occultations at the beginning of Northern summer on Mars. Before the Sun is completely eclipsed by the planetary disk, its rays pierce through the atmosphere and then get caught by the spectrometer’s detector. Having gone through the atmosphere, the solar rays show a different spectrum with the changes hinting at the atmosphere’s makeup.


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