Atmosphere of Mars
|Atmosphere of Mars|
|Chemical species||Mole fraction|
The atmosphere of Mars is, like that of Venus, composed mostly of carbon dioxide though far thinner. There has been renewed interest in its composition since the detection of traces of methane that may indicate life but may also be produced by a geochemical process, volcanic or hydrothermal activity.
The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface averages 600 pascals (0.087 psi), about 0.6% of Earth's mean sea level pressure of 101.3 kilopascals (14.69 psi) and only 0.0065% that of Venus's 9.2 megapascals (1,330 psi). It ranges from a low of 30 pascals (0.0044 psi) on Olympus Mons's peak to over 1,155 pascals (0.1675 psi) in the depths of Hellas Planitia. This pressure is well below the Armstrong limit for the unprotected human body. Mars's atmospheric mass of 25 teratonnes compares to Earth's 5148 teratonnes with a scale height of about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) versus Earth's 7 kilometres (4.3 mi). The Martian atmosphere is about 96% carbon dioxide, 2.1% argon, 1.9% nitrogen, and traces of free oxygen, carbon monoxide, water and methane, among other gases, for a mean molar mass of 43.34 g/mol. The atmosphere is quite dusty, giving the Martian sky a light brown or orange color when seen from the surface; data from the Mars Exploration Rovers indicate that suspended dust particles within the atmosphere are roughly 1.5 micrometres across.
|Olympus Mons summit||0.03 kilopascals (0.0044 psi)|
|Mars average||0.6 kilopascals (0.087 psi)|
|Hellas Planitia bottom||1.16 kilopascals (0.168 psi)|
|Armstrong limit||6.25 kilopascals (0.906 psi)|
|Mount Everest summit||33.7 kilopascals (4.89 psi)|
|Earth sea level||101.3 kilopascals (14.69 psi)|
Mars's atmosphere is composed of the following layers:
- Lower atmosphere: A warm region affected by heat from airborne dust and from the ground.
- Middle atmosphere: The region in which Mars's jetstream flows
- Upper atmosphere, or thermosphere: A region with very high temperatures, caused by heating from the Sun. Atmospheric gases start to separate from each other at these altitudes, rather than forming the even mix found in the lower atmospheric layers.
- Exosphere: Typically stated to start at 200 km (120 mi) and higher, this region is where the last wisps of atmosphere merge into the vacuum of space. There is no distinct boundary where the atmosphere ends; it just tapers away.
Observations and measurement from Earth
In 1864, William Rutter Dawes observed "that the ruddy tint of the planet does not arise from any peculiarity of its atmosphere seems to be fully proved by the fact that the redness is always deepest near the centre, where the atmosphere is thinnest." Spectroscopic observations in the 1860s and 1870s led many to believe the atmosphere of Mars is similar to Earth's. In 1894, though, spectral analysis and other qualitative observations by William Wallace Campbell suggested Mars resembles the Moon, which has no appreciable atmosphere, in many respects.
The main component of the atmosphere of Mars is carbon dioxide (CO
2) at 95.9%. Each pole is in continual darkness during its hemisphere's winter, and the surface gets so cold that as much as 25% of the atmospheric CO
2 condenses at the polar caps into solid CO
2 ice (dry ice). When the pole is again exposed to sunlight during summer, the CO
2 ice sublimates back into the atmosphere. This process leads to a significant annual variation in the atmospheric pressure and atmospheric composition around the Martian poles.
The atmosphere of Mars is enriched considerably with the noble gas argon, in comparison to the atmosphere of the other planets within the Solar System. Unlike carbon dioxide, the argon content of the atmosphere does not condense, and hence the total amount of argon in the Mars atmosphere is constant. However, the relative concentration at any given location can change as carbon dioxide moves in and out of the atmosphere. Recent satellite data shows an increase in atmospheric argon over the southern pole during its autumn, which dissipates the following spring.
Some aspects of the Martian atmosphere vary significantly. As carbon dioxide sublimates back into the atmosphere during the Martian summer, it leaves traces of water. Seasonal winds sweep off the poles at speeds approaching 400 kilometres per hour (250 mph) and transport large amounts of dust and water vapor giving rise to Earth-like frost and large cirrus clouds. These clouds of water-ice were photographed by the Opportunity rover in 2004. NASA scientists working on the Phoenix Mars mission confirmed on July 31, 2008 that they had indeed found subsurface water ice at Mars's northern polar region.
Trace amounts of methane (CH4), at the level of several parts per billion (ppb), were first reported in Mars's atmosphere by a team at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2003. In March 2004 the Mars Express Orbiter and ground-based observations by three groups also suggested the presence of methane in the atmosphere with a mole fraction of about 10 nmol/mol. Large differences in the abundances were measured between observations taken in 2003 and 2006, which suggested that the methane was locally concentrated and highly temporally variable.
Because methane on Mars would quickly break down due to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and chemical reactions with other gases, its reported persistent presence in the atmosphere also necessitates the existence of a source to continually replenish the gas. Current photochemical models alone can not explain the rapid variability of the methane levels. It had been proposed that the methane might be replenished by meteorites entering the atmosphere of Mars, but researchers from Imperial College London found that the volumes of methane released this way are too low to sustain the measured levels of the gas.
Research suggests that the implied methane destruction lifetime is as long as ~4 Earth years and as short as ~0.6 Earth years. This lifetime is short enough for the atmospheric circulation to yield the observed uneven distribution of methane across the planet. In either case, the destruction lifetime for methane is much shorter than the timescale (~350 years) estimated for photochemical (UV radiation) destruction. The rapid destruction (or "sink") of methane suggests that another process must dominate removal of atmospheric methane on Mars, and it must be more efficient than destruction by light by a factor of 100 to 600. This unexplained fast destruction rate also suggests a very active replenishing source. A possibility is that the methane is not consumed at all, but rather condenses and evaporates seasonally from clathrates. Another possibility is that methane reacts with tumbling surface sand quartz (SiO
2) and olivine to form covalent Si–CH
Scientist Michael Mumma also argued in 2009 that the evidence suggests that methane plumes are a seasonal event. Although the methane could stem from a geological source, the lack of current volcanism, hydrothermal activity or hotspots are not favorable for a geological explanation. Living microorganisms, such as methanogens, are another possible source, but no evidence exists for the presence of such organisms anywhere on Mars. Roscosmos and ESA are planning to look for companion gases that may suggest which sources are most likely. In the Earth's oceans, biological methane production tends to be accompanied by ethane, whereas volcanic methane is accompanied by sulfur dioxide. Several studies of trace gases in the Martian atmosphere have found no evidence for sulfur dioxide in the Martian atmosphere, which makes volcanism unlikely to be the source of methane.
The principal candidates for the origin of Mars methane include non-biological processes such as water–rock reactions, radiolysis of water, and pyrite formation, all of which produce H2 that could then generate methane and other hydrocarbons via Fischer–Tropsch synthesis with CO and CO2. It was also recently shown that methane could be produced by a process involving water, carbon dioxide, and the mineral olivine, which is known to be common on Mars. The required conditions for this reaction (i.e. high temperature and pressure) do not exist on the surface, but may exist within the crust. A detection of the mineral by-product serpentinite would suggest that this process is occurring. An analog on Earth suggests that low-temperature production and exhalation of methane from serpentinized rocks may be possible on Mars. Another possible geophysical source could be clathrate hydrates.
In contrast to the findings described above, studies by Kevin Zahnle, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, and two colleagues conclude that "there is as yet no compelling evidence for methane on Mars". They argue that the strongest reported observations of the gas to date have been taken at frequencies where interference from methane in Earth's atmosphere is particularly difficult to remove, and are thus unreliable. Additionally, they claim that the published observations most favorable to interpretation as indicative of Martian methane are also consistent with no methane being present on Mars.
In 2011, NASA scientists reported a comprehensive search using ground-based high-resolution infrared spectroscopy for trace species (including methane) on Mars, deriving sensitive upper limits for methane (<7 ppbv), ethane (<0.2 ppbv), methanol (<19 ppbv) and others (H2CO, C2H2, C2H4, N2O, NH3, HCN, CH3Cl, HCl, HO2 – all limits at ppbv levels). The data were acquired over a period of 6 years and span different seasons and locations on Mars, suggesting that if organics are being released into the atmosphere, these events were extremely rare or currently non-existent, considering the expected long lifetimes for some of these species.
The Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012. It is able to make precise abundance measurements that also distinguish between different isotopologues of methane. The first measurements with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) indicate that there is less than 5 ppb of methane at the landing site.
Efforts to identify the sources of terrestrial methane have found that measurements of different methane isotopologues do not necessarily distinguish between possible geologic and biogenic sources, but the abundances of other cogenerated gases, such as ethane (C2H6), relative to methane do: the ethane–methane abundance ratio is < 0.001 for biogenic sources, whereas other sources produce nearly equivalent amounts of methane and ethane.
On 19 July 2013, NASA scientists published the results of a new analysis of the atmosphere of Mars, reporting a lack of methane around the landing site of the Curiosity rover. In addition, the scientists found evidence that Mars "has lost a good deal of its atmosphere over time", based on the abundance of isotopic compositions of gases, particularly those related to argon and carbon.
On 19 September 2013, NASA scientists used further measurements from Curiosity to report a non-detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18±0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence limit). As a result, they conclude that current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars is extremely unlikely.
The Indian Mars Orbiter Mission, launched on 5 November 2013, will attempt to detect and map the sources of methane, if they exist. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter planned to launch in 2016 would further study the methane, as well as its decomposition products such as formaldehyde and methanol.
Sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere is thought to be a tracer of current volcanic activity. It has become especially interesting due to the long-standing controversy of methane on Mars. If methane on Mars were being produced by volcanoes (as it is in part on Earth) we would expect to find sulfur dioxide in large quantities. Several teams have searched for sulfur dioxide on Mars using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. No sulfur dioxide was detected in these studies, but they were able to place stringent upper limits on the atmospheric concentration of 0.2 ppb. In March 2013, a team led by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center reported a detection of SO2 in Rocknest (Mars) soil samples analyzed by the Curiosity rover.
As reported by the European Space Agency (ESA) on September 29, 2013, a new comparison of spacecraft data with computer models explains how global atmospheric circulation creates a layer of ozone above Mars's southern pole in winter. Ozone was most likely difficult to detect on Mars because its concentration is typically 300 times lower than on Earth, although it varies greatly with location and time. In recent years, the SPICAM UV spectrometer on board Mars Express has shown the presence of two distinct ozone layers at low-to-mid latitudes. These comprise a persistent, near-surface layer below an altitude of 30 km, a separate layer that is only present in northern spring and summer with an altitude varying from 30 to 60 km, and another separate layer that exists 40–60 km above the southern pole in winter, with no counterpart above the Mars's north pole. This third ozone layer shows an abrupt decrease in elevation between 75 and 50 degrees south. SPICAM detected a gradual increase in ozone concentration at 50 km until midwinter, after which it slowly decreased to very low concentrations, with no layer detectable above 35 km. The authors of the paper in Nature Geoscience believe that the observed polar ozone layers are the result of the same atmospheric circulation pattern that creates a distinct oxygen emission recently identified in the polar night and also present in Earth's atmosphere. This circulation takes the form of a huge Hadley cell in which warmer air rises and travels poleward before cooling and sinking at higher latitudes. Mars is on a quite elliptical orbit and has a large axial tilt, which causes extreme seasonal variations in temperature amongst the northern and southern hemispheres. Mars's temperature difference greatly influences the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, because warmer air can contain more moisture. This, in turn, affects the production of ozone-destroying hydrogen radicals.
Potential for use by humans
The atmosphere of Mars is a resource of known composition available at any landing site on Mars. It has been proposed that human exploration of Mars could use carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Martian atmosphere to make rocket fuel for the return mission. Mission studies that propose using the atmosphere in this way include the Mars Direct proposal of Robert Zubrin and the NASA Design reference mission study. Two major chemical pathways for use of the carbon dioxide are the Sabatier reaction, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide along with additional hydrogen (H2), to produce methane (CH4) and oxygen (O2), and electrolysis, using a zirconia solid oxide electrolyte to split the carbon dioxide into oxygen (O2) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Mars's atmosphere is believed to have changed over the course of the planet's lifetime, with evidence suggesting the possibility that Mars had large oceans a few billion years ago. As stated in the Mars ocean hypothesis, atmospheric pressure on the present-day Martian surface only exceeds that of the triple point of water (6.11 hectopascals (0.0886 psi)) in the lowest elevations; at higher elevations water can exist only in solid or vapor form. Annual mean temperatures at the surface are currently less than 210 K (−63 °C; −82 °F), significantly lower than what is needed to sustain liquid water. However, early in its history Mars may have had conditions more conducive to retaining liquid water at the surface.
In 2013, it has been announced that Mars might have had an "oxygen-rich" atmosphere billions of years ago.
Possible causes for the depletion of a previously thicker Martian atmosphere include:
- Gradual erosion of the atmosphere by solar wind, possibly helped by Mars's magnetic-field irregularities;
- Catastrophic collision by a body large enough to blow away a significant percentage of the atmosphere;
- Mars's low gravity allowing the atmosphere to "blow off" into space by gas-kinetic escape.
- Climate of Mars
- Life on Mars
- Mars regional atmospheric modeling system
- Martian geyser
- MAVEN orbiter
- MetNet - a proposed widespread surface observation network in Mars.
- Seasonal flows on warm Martian slopes
- In Situ Resource Utilization
- Terraforming of Mars
- Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover. Sciencemag.org (2013-07-19). Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Interplanetary Whodunit - Methane on Mars, David Tenenbaum, Astrobiology Magazine, NASA, July 20, 2005. (Note: part one of a four-part series.)
- Mumma, M. J.; Novak, R. E.; DiSanti, M. A.; Bonev, B. P., "A Sensitive Search for Methane on Mars" (abstract only). American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #35, #14.18.
- Making Sense of Mars Methane (June 2008)
- Robbins, Stuart J.; et al. (14 September 2006). "Elemental composition of Mars' atmosphere". Case Western Reserve University Department of Astronomy. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- Seiff, A. and Kirk, D. (1977). "Structure of the atmosphere of Mars in summer at mid-latitudes" (abstract only). Journal of Geophysical Research, 82(28):4364–4378.
- Lemmon et al., "Atmospheric Imaging Results from the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity"
- John B. West - Barometric pressures on Mt. Everest: new data and physiological significance (1998)
- ESA - New views of the Martian ionosphere
- ESA - A seasonal ozone layer over the Martian south pole
- Dawes, W.R. (1865). "Physical Observations of Mars Near the Opposition in 1864". Astronomical Register.
- Campbell, W.W. (1894). "Concerning an Atmosphere on Mars". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
- Janssen, Huggins, Secchi, Vogel, and Maunder
- Wright, W. H. (1925). "Photographs of Mars made with light of different colors". Lick Observatory bulletin.
- Menzel, D. H. (1926). "The Atmosphere of Mars". Astrophysical Journal.
- Webster, Guy (April 8, 2013). "Remaining Martian Atmosphere Still Dynamic". NASA. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Wall, Mike (April 8, 2013). "Most of Mars' Atmosphere Is Lost in Space". Space.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Forgot, Francois. "Alien Weather at the Poles of Mars". Science. Retrieved 25 February 2007.
- Clouds – December 13, 2004 NASA Press release. URL accessed March 17, 2006.
- Mumma, Michael J. "Mars Methane Boosts Chances for Life". Skytonight.com. Archived from the original on 20 February 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2007.
- Formisano, V.; Atreya, S.; Encrenaz, T.; Ignatiev, N.; Giuranna, M. (2004). "Detection of Methane in the Atmosphere of Mars". Science 306 (5702): 1758–1761. Bibcode:2004Sci...306.1758F. doi:10.1126/science.1101732. PMID 15514118.
- Krasnopolskya, V. A.; Maillard, J. P.; Owen, T. C. (2004). "Detection of methane in the Martian atmosphere: evidence for life?". Icarus 172 (2): 537–547. Bibcode:2004Icar..172..537K. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2004.07.004.
- Formisano, Vittorio; Atreya, Sushil; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Ignatiev, Nikolai; Giuranna, Marco  (abstract only), "Detection of Methane in the Atmosphere of Mars"
- ESA Press release. "Mars Express confirms methane in the Martian atmosphere". ESA. Archived from the original on 24 February 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2006.
- Mars Trace Gas Mission (September 10, 2009)
- Keppler, Frank; Vigano, Ivan; MacLeod, Andy; Ott, Ulrich; Früchtl, Marion; Röckmann, Thomas. "Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions from meteorites and the Martian atmosphere". Nature 486 (7401): 93–6. doi:10.1038/nature11203. PMID 22678286. Retrieved 8 June 2012. "Published online 30 May 2012"
- Court, Richard; Sephton, Mark (December 8, 2009). "Life on Mars theory boosted by new methane study". Imperial College London. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
- Mumma, Michael J.; et al. (February 20, 2009). "Strong Release of Methane on Mars in Northern Summer 2003". Science 323 (5917): pp. 1041–1045. Bibcode:2009Sci...323.1041M. doi:10.1126/science.1165243. PMID 19150811.
- Franck, Lefèvre; Forget, François (August 6, 2009). "Observed variations of methane on Mars unexplained by known atmospheric chemistry and physics". Nature 460 (7256): 720–723. Bibcode:2009Natur.460..720L. doi:10.1038/nature08228. PMID 19661912. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
- Burns, Judith (August 5, 2009). "Martian methane mystery deepens". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
- Zahnle, Kevin; Freedman, Richard; Catling, David (2010). "Is there Methane on Mars?". 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Skibsted, Jørgen; Jakobsen, Hans J.; Kate, Inge L. ten; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur P.; Merrison, Jonathan P.; Finster, Kai; Bak, Ebbe; Iversen, Jens J.; Kondrup, Jens C.; Nørnberg, Per (2014). "A sink for methane on Mars? The answer is blowing in the wind". Icarus 236: 24–27. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
- "Atmospheric Modeling of Martian Methane Plumes: The Debate Continues". NASA (NASA - Solar System Exploration). April 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- Inside ExoMars – Quarterly Newsletter (May 2012)
- Docksai, Rick (July 2011). "A Chemical Mission to Mars". CBS. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- Krasnopolsky, Vladimir A.  (abstract only), "Search for methane and upper limits to ethane and SO2 on Mars"
- Encrenaz, T.; Greathouse, T. K.; Richter, M. J.; Lacy, J. H.; Fouchet, T.; Bézard, B.; Lefèvre, F.; Forget, F.; Atreya, S. K.  (abstract only), "A stringent upper limit to SO2 in the Martian atmosphere"
- Mumma, Michael; et al. (2010). The Astrobiology of Mars: Methane and Other Candinate Biomarker Gases, and Related Interdisciplinary Studies on Earth and Mars (PDF). "Astrobiology Science Conference 2010". Astrophysics Data System (Greenbelt, MD: Goddard Space Flight Center). Retrieved 24 July 2010.
- Oze, C.; Sharma, M. (2005). "Have olivine, will gas: Serpentinization and the abiogenic production of methane on Mars". Geophys. Res. Lett. 32 (10): L10203. Bibcode:2005GeoRL..3210203O. doi:10.1029/2005GL022691.
- Rincon, Paul (March 26, 2009). "Mars domes may be 'mud volcanoes'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
- Etiope, Giuseppe; Ehlmannc, Bethany L.; Schoell, Martin. "Low temperature production and exhalation of methane from serpentinized rocks on Earth: A potential analog for methane production on Mars". Icarus. Bibcode:2013Icar..224..276E. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.05.009. Retrieved 8 June 2012. "Online 14 May 2012"
- Thomas, Caroline; et al. (January 2009). "Variability of the methane trapping in Martian subsurface clathrate hydrates". Planetary and Space Science 57 (1): 42–47. arXiv:0810.4359. Bibcode:2009P&SS...57...42T. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2008.10.003. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- Zahnle, Kevin; Freedman, Richard; Catling, David (2011), "42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference" (PDF), Is there Methane on Mars? Part II, Lunar and Planetary Institute, retrieved 6 August 2011
- "Methane on Mars. Now you see it. Now you don't...". The Economist. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- Zahnle, Kevin; Freedman, Richard S.; Catling, David C. (2011). "Is there methane on Mars?". Icarus 212 (2): 493–503. Bibcode:2011Icar..212..493Z. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2010.11.027.
- Villanueva, G. L., Mumma, M. J., Novak, R. E., Radeva, Y. L., Käufl, H. U., Tokunaga, A., Encrenaz, T., Hartogh, P., A Sensitive search for organics (C2H6, CH3OH, H2CO, C2H2, C2H4), water (H2O, HDO), and nitrogen compounds (NH3, HCN, HC3N) on Mars using ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy. EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, held 2–7 October 2011 in Nantes, France. http://meetings.copernicus.org/epsc-dps2011, p.1506 (2011).
- Villanueva, G. L., Mumma, M. J., Novak, R. E., Radeva, Y. L., Käufl, H. U., Smette, A., Tokunaga, A., Khayat, A., Encrenaz, T., Hartogh, P., A sensitive search for organics (CH4, CH3OH, H2CO, C2H6, C2H2, C2H4), hydroperoxyl (HO2), nitrogen compounds (N2O, NH3, HCN) and chlorine species (HCl, CH3Cl) on Mars using ground-based high-resolution infrared spectroscopy. Icarus, Volume 223, Issue 1, p. 11-27. (2013).
- Tenenbaum, David (June 9, 2008). "Making Sense of Mars Methane". Astrobiology Magazine. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
- "Mars Curiosity Rover News Telecon -November 2, 2012".
- Kerr, Richard A. (November 2, 2012). "Curiosity Finds Methane on Mars, or Not". Science (journal). Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Wall, Mike (November 2, 2012). "Curiosity Rover Finds No Methane on Mars — Yet". Space.com. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Chang, Kenneth (November 2, 2012). "Hope of Methane on Mars Fades". New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Calvin, Wendy (2007). "Report from the 2013 Mars Science Orbiter (MSO) – Second Science Analysis Group" (pdf). Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG MSO-SAG-2). p. 16. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
- Mann, Adam (18 July 2013). "Mars Rover Finds Good News for Past Life, Bad News for Current Life on Mars". Wired (magazine). Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Webster, Chris R.; et al. (19 July 2013). "Isotope Ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the Martian Atmosphere". Science 341 (6143): 260–263. doi:10.1126/science.1237961. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Mahaffy, Paul R.; et al. (19 July 2013). "Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover". Science 341 (6143): 263–266. doi:10.1126/science.1237966. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A. (September 19, 2013). "Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars". Science. doi:10.1126/science.1242902. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Cho, Adrian (September 19, 2013). "Mars Rover Finds No Evidence of Burps and Farts". Science (journal). Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Chang, Kenneth (September 19, 2013). "Mars Rover Comes Up Empty in Search for Methane". New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Staff (September 2012). "Mangalyaan -Mission Objectives". Indian Space Science Data Centre. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Rincon, Paul (July 9, 2009). "Agencies outline Mars initiative". BBC News. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- "NASA orbiter to hunt for source of Martian methane in 2016". Thaindian News. March 6, 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
- McAdam, A. C.; Franz, H.; Archer, P. D.; Freissinet, C.; Sutter, B.; Glavin, D. P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Bower, H.; Stern, J.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Rampe, E.; Brunner, A. E.; Steele, A.; Navarro-González, R.; Bish, D. L.; Blake, D.; Wray, J.; Grotzinger, J.; MSL Science Team. "Insights into the Sulfur Mineralogy of Martian Soil at Rocknest, Gale Crater, Enabled by Evolved Gas Analyses" 
- "Gamma-Ray Evidence Suggests Ancient Mars Had Massive Oceans". Science Daily. University of Arizona. Archived from the original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- Mars Atmosphere was Oxygen-Rich 4 Billion Years Ago, Astrobio.net, 28 June 2013
- "The Solar Wind at Mars". Science @ NASA. NASA. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- "Solar Wind Rips Up Martian Atmosphere". NASA Headlines. NASA. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- Planetary Science. Astronomynotes.com. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Mars Clouds Higher Than Any On Earth". Space.com.
- Mikulski, Lauren (2000). "Pressure on the Surface of Mars". The Physics Factbook.
- "Atmospheric pressure - summary of the Viking lander results".
- Khan, Michael (December 4, 2009). "The Low Down on Methane on Mars". Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
- "A seasonal ozone layer over the Martian south pole". publisher=ESA. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
Media related to Atmosphere of Mars at Wikimedia Commons