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Mars' Atmosphere

The atmosphere of Mars is thin and cold. The average density is 0.7 percent the density of Earth, with average temperatures far below zero. The atmosphere consists almost entirely of carbon dioxide, with only a tiny amount of other elements and compounds. The atmosphere supports clouds of both water and carbon dioxide. The clouds sometimes produce snow. When Mars was young, its atmosphere was much thicker and warmer than it is today, allowing liquid water to flow and stand on the surface. During the last four billion years, though, most of that atmosphere has been lost. Much of it escaped into space, while some of the compounds in the atmosphere combined with others to form rocks at the Martian surface. Several spacecraft have studied the planet's atmosphere and continue to do so today.

Radio Programs

Mars and Regulus Blowing with the winds of Mars July 8, 2023

Mars and the Twins Twisting along with the winds of Mars May 17, 2023

Winds of Mars The troublesome winds of Mars June 24, 2021

Changing Seasons Changing seasons on Mars February 7, 2021

Moon and Mars Swirling lights on Mars December 23, 2020

Moon and Mars A strange yet familiar planet October 28, 2020

Moon and Mars A long summertime cloud on Mars September 4, 2020

Moon and Mars Breezing through a Martian day August 8, 2020

Featured Images

Dry Lake December 21, 2021

clouds pass above a cliff face on Mars

Cloudy Skies June 6, 2021

Cloud streaming from Arsia Mons, a volcano on Mars

Long Cloud September 4, 2020