The meeting is a GO – see you there!

Clouds on Mars have been observed from the surface and orbit to better understand the role of water in the Martian atmosphere. During aphelion, atmospheric temperatures are cool enough in the equatorial regions to allow water-ice to nucleate on dust particles, revealing the Aphelion Cloud Belt (ACB).

Both Opportunity and Curiosity have studied the ACB, while Phoenix was confined to cloud studies near the north pole.

Several properties of Martian water-ice clouds have been studied including optical depth, frequency through a sol (Martian day) and wind parameters. One parameter, altitude, is difficult to measure from the surface without a lidar instrument. Unlike Phoenix, Curiosity does not have a lidar and must rely on atmospheric models to help estimate altitude through correlations between observational and modelled results. Evaluating this parameter for the ACB can help determine the behaviour of water-ice clouds throughout the low and middle atmosphere.

Ms. Charissa Campbell completed her Bachelor of Science in Astronomy & Physics from Saint Mary’s University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Astronomy & Physics at York University under Dr. John Moores, where she is part of the MSL team analyzing the altitude of clouds on Mars. Her focus is on analyzing atmospheric movies to find the altitude of Martian clouds and has displayed her research progress at the 2017 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC).

Watch Martian Clouds Scoot
Thanks to NASA’s Curiosity and some amazing imagery created by Charissa as a member of a York University team led by John Moores.

For more information: Earthshine Astronomy

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2074 in the William Davis Building.

Park in parking deck P4 or P8, across from the Recreation and Wellness (Fitness) Centre south of the Davis Building. The parking rate is $2 per hour or $6 maximum. Consider paying the maximum, which will allow you to park all night. If not, you should return to your vehicle before your time expires to avoid being ticketed.

Enter the Davis Building through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. If you need an elevator, follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the main floor. Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

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