Mars - Physical Parameters and Surface Properties

(Compiled by Ernst Hauber, DLR)
"This collection of Mars' properties was originally prepared for the NetLander landing site selection team. The work was done in late 1999, and no updates have been made since that time. I do not take any responsibility for the correctness, accuracy, or validity of the data. If you feel that something is wrong, unclear, or missing, please let me know. I'll try to fix it as soon as possible. -- Ernst Hauber"

Content

Sources

Orbital Parameters

Orbit semimajor axis 1.52366 AU (Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
Eccentricity 0.0934 (Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
0.093 (Beatty et al., 1999)
0.093 (current; varies from 0.0 to 0.14) http://cmex.arc.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Obliquity 25.19° (Carr, 1996; Beatty et al., 1999)
25.189417 (Folkner et al., 1997)
23.98°
23° 59'
http://cmex.arc.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Orbital inclination 1.8504° (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Perihelic distance 204.52 x 106 km http://cmex.arc.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Aphelic distance 246.28 x 106 km http://cmex.ar c.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Mean orbital period 686.98 Earth days
669.60 Mars solar days (=sols)
(Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
686.930 (sidereal period)
779.94 (synodic period)
(Beatty et al., 1999)
Mean orbital velocity 24.13 km/sec (Beatty et al., 1999)
Mean daily motion 0.52405°/day (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Mean solar day 24h 39.6min (1.026 Earth days) (Carr, 1996)
Length of sidereal day 24h 37 min 22.663 ± 0.002 sec (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Length of mean solar day 88775.2 sec (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Sidereal rotation period 24.6230 h (Beatty et al., 1999)
Semimajor axis 227.92 x 106 km Values from the NASA Mars fact sheet at the Goddard Space Flight Center (September 1999)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Semimajor axis 1.52366231 AU
Sidereal orbit period 686.980 days
Tropical orbit period 686.973 days
Perihelion 206.62 x 106 km
Aphelion 249.23 x 106 km
Synodic period 779.94 days
Mean orbital velocity 24.13 km/s
Max. orbital velocity 26.50 km/s
Min. orbital velocity 21.97 km/s
Orbit inclination 1.850°
Orbit eccentricity 0.0935
Sidereal rotation period 24.6229 h
Obliquity to orbit 25.19°
Orbital eccentricity 0.09341233
Orbital inclination 1.85061°
Longitude of ascending node 49.57854°
Longitude of perihelion 336.04084°
Mean Longitude 355.45332°

Orientation and Rotation

Right ascension of the Martian spin axis (°) 317.681 - 0.108 T(1) (Vaughan, 1995)
317.68143 - 0.1061 T(1) (Folkner et al., 1997)
Declination of the Martian spin axis (°) 52.886 - 0.061 T(1) (Vaughan, 1995)
52.88650 - 0.0609 T(1) (Folkner et al., 1997)
Prime Meridian W (°) 176.901 + 350.8919830 d(2)
176.901 (fixed)
(Vaughan, 1995)
(Folkner et al., 1997)
Rotation rate 350.8919830°/ day (Vaughan, 1995)
350.89198521°/day (Folkner et al., 1997)
Rotation period (length of a Martian day) 1.026 days (Vaughan, 1995)

(1) T = interval in Julian centuries from the epoch J2000 (1 Julian century = 36525 days).
(2) d = interval in days from the epoch J2000.

Mass and Gravity Field

MassDE403 (1) 6.4185 x 1023 kg (Vaughan, 1995; Kieffer et al., 1992)
6.421 x 1023 kg http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
6.419 x 1023 kg (e.g. Beatty et al., 1999)
6.46 x 1023 kg http://cmex.arc.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Mean density 3.933 g/cm3 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
3.940 g/cm3 http://wwwflag.wr.usgs.gov/USGSFlag/Space/wall/mars.html
3.910 g/cm3 (Beatty et al., 1999)>
3.933.5 ± 0.0004 g/cm3 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Gravitational parameter GMDE403 (1) 42828.314 km3/sec2 (Vaughan, 1995)
42828.370371 km3/sec2 (Vaughan, 1995)
Gravitational parameter GMMars50c (2) 42828.3 ± 0.1 km3/sec2 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
42830 km3/sec2 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Gravitational acceleration 3.719m/sec2 (=0.379g) (Vaughan, 1995)
3.711 m/sec2  
3.758 m/sec2 (at pole)  
3.711 m/sec2 (at equator)  
3.69 m/sec2 (equatorial surface gravity) http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
3.727 m/sec2 (Spohn et al., 1998)
Escape velocity 5.0 km/sec (Beatty et al., 1999)
5.03 km/sec http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
5.027 km/sec (Carr, 1996; Spohn et al., 1998)
Polar moment of inertia (C/MR2) 0.345 - 0.365 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
0.355 ± 0.015 (pre-Pathfinder, i.e. Viking-Based) (Yoder and Standish, 1997)
0.3662 ± 0.0017 (Folkner et al., 1997)
Gravitational oblateness (J2) 1960.454 x 10-6 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
1960.45 x 10-6 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Mean radius 3389.508 ± 0.003 km (Smith et al., 1999)
Mean equatorial radius 3396.200 ± 0.160 km
North polar radius 376.189 ± 0.05 km
South polar radius 3382.580 ± 0.05 km
Triaxial ellipsoid
a 3398.627 km
b 3393.760 km
c 3376.200 km
1/flattening 169.8 ± 1.0
Directions of principal ellipsoid axes
a 1.0°N, 72.4°E
b 0°N, 342.4°E
c 89.0°N, 252.4°E
Ellipsoid offset of CoF from CoM
delta_x -233 m
delta_y -1428 m
delta_z -2986 m

(1)DE403 = JPL Planetary ephemeris DE403; see Standish et al., 1995.
(2) Mars50c = see Konopliv and Sjogren, 1995.

Geometric Properties and Reference Surface

Requatorial IAU 3393.4 km (Vaughan, 1995)
Rpolar IAU 3375.8 km (Vaughan, 1995)
Flattening(Requatorial IAU - Rpolar IAU) / Requatorial IAU 0.005186 (or 1/192.81)
0.0069
0.00648
0.00649
(Beatty et al., 1999)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Sphere flatness 0.009 http://cmex.arc.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Volume 16.318 x 1010 km3 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Surface area 1.4441 x 1014 m2 = 1.441 x 108 km2 = 144 Mio km2) (Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)

Magnetic Properties

Magnetic dipole moment MB < 8 x 1011 T m3 (Spohn et al., 1998)

Atmosphere

Rx-equatorial Mars-GRAM (1) 3393.67 km (Vaughan, 1995)
Rx-equatorial Mars-GRAM (1) 3393.21 km (Vaughan, 1995)
Rpolar Mars-GRAM (1) 3376.78 km (Vaughan, 1995)
Surface pressure 6.9 mbar - 9 mbar (Viking Lander - 1)  
Mean surface pressure 5.6 mbar (=560 Pa) (Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
6.7 mbar - 6.8 mbar (daily fluctuations of 0.2 mbar - 0.3 mbar due to thermal tides) during sols 1-30 (Schofield et al., 1997)
Average mass of atmosphere 2.17 x 1016 kg (Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
Average columnar mass of atmosphere 150 km/m2 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Surface density ~0.02 kg/m3 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Scale height 8 km
10.8 km (mean scale height at T = 210K)
11.1 km
(Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Average temperature ~220 K
~210 K
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Diurnal temperature range 184 K -242 K (Viking Lander - 1) http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
197K - 263 K (at 1 m height)
NOTE: fluctuations of up to 20 K in the Morning due to warming at the surface and convection by small eddies!
(Golombek et al., 1999)
Wind speeds 2-7 m/sec (N summer), 5-10 m/sec (N fall), 17-30 m/sec (dust storm) http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
<10 m/sec (<1m/sec in the morning hours)
NOTE: frequent dust devils with higher wind speeds during midmorning until mid afternoon (accompanied by drop of solar power during at least one dust devil)!
(Schofield et al., 1997)
Mean molecular weight 43.34 g/mole http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Optical depth 0.5 (more stable at noon and afternoon than in the morning; increasing during sols 1-80), early mission: 0.4 - 0.5 (all filters), late mission: 0.6 (Smith et al., 1999;Smith and Lemmon, 1999)
(0.1-) 0.2 (-0.5) (Vaughan, 1995)
0.1 - 10 (Kieffer et al., 1992)
Atmospheric Electricity (Grard, viewgraph shown at ESTEC science meeting, June 3-4, 1999)
conductivity 10-11 Ohm/m
large upward electric field  
dust electrostatic charging  

(1) (GRAM = Global Reference Atmospheric Model, version 3.33; see Justus and Chimonas, 1989)

Solar Influx, Albedo, and Surface Temperature

Solar irradiance 595 W/m2  
Solar constant at mean distance from sun 588.98 W/m (Kieffer et al., 1992; Carr, 1996)
Solar constant 0.866 Langley ( = cal/cm2/s) http://cmex.arc.nasa.gov/SiteCat/sitecat2/mars.htm
Solar spectrum incident Photon flux (m-2 s-1 eV-1) vs. Photon energy (eV) at 50°N (spring - higher; winter - lower) (Grard, viewgraph shown at ESTEC science meeting, June 3-4, 1999)
Photoelectron characteristics
volume density 1.3 - 9.4 cm-3
flux 1.1 x 1011 m-2 s-1 - 8.7 x 1011 m-2 s-1
mean kinetic energy 0.4 eV
Visual geometric albedo 0.150 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Bond albedo 0.16
Surface bolometric albedo 0.25 (mean)
0.08 - 0.40
(Kieffer et al., 1992)
Visual magnitude V(1.0) -1.52 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html
Black-body temperature 217 K
216.6 K
Surface thermal inertia mean:
6.5 x 10-3 cal cm-2 s-1/2 K-1 or:
272 J m-2 s-1/2 K-1
range:
1-15 x 10-3 cal cm-2 s-1/2 K-1 or:
42 - 628 J m-2 s-1/2 K-1
(Kieffer et al., 1992)
Average surface temperature 210.1 K
Range of surface temperatures ~140 - 300 K

Composition of the Lower Atmosphere

(Kieffer et al., 1992)
Gas Abundance Abundance (ppb) Notes
CO2 95.32% 953,200,000 (1)
N2 2.7% 27,000,000  
40Ar 1.6% 16,000,000  
O2 0.13% 1,300,000  
CO 0.07% 700,000  
H2O 0.03% 300,000 (2)
36Ar + 38Ar 5.3 ppm 5,300  
Ne 2.5 ppm 2,400  
Kr 0.3 ppm 300  
Xe 0.08 ppm 80  
O3 0.04 ppm 40 (2)

(1) Based on elemental composition, expressed as oxides.
(2) Based on direct soil analyses from Viking X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer.
(3) Based on SNC meteorite analyses.
(4) Based on terrestrial simulations of Viking Labelled Release experiment.
(5) Spatially and temporally variable.

Minor Constituents in the Atmosphere

Gas Abundance (ppb) Gas Abundance (ppb) Gas Abundance (ppb)
HCOH 600
(?) 3
HCl 100
(?) 2
CH4 20
(?) 70 ± 150
C2H4 500 C2H6 400 N2O 100
PH3 100 SO2 100 H2S 100
H2O2 30 NO2 10 OCS 10
NH3 5 C2H2 2    

Refs.: Maguire (1977), Beer et al. (1971), Owen and Sagan (1972), Krasnopolsky et al. (1997)
(?) Krasnopolsky et al. (1997)

Surface Composition

Constituent Concentration (%)

(Kieffer et al., 1992)

Notes Average Martian Soil

(Beatty et al., 1999)

"Barnacle Bill"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Wedge"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Yogi"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Shark"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Half Dome"

(McSween et al., 1999)

Constituent
SiO2 43.4 (2) 51.6 58.5 ± 2.9 52.2 ± 2.6 55.5 ± 2.8 61.2 ± 3.1 55.3 ± 2.8 SiO2
Fe2O3 18.2 (2)             Fe2O3
FeO     13.4 12.9 ± 1.3 15.4 ± 1.5 13.1 ± 1.3 11.9 ± 1.2 13.9 ± 1.4 FeO
Al2O3 7.2 (2) 9.1 10.8 ± 1.1 10.0 ± 1.0 9.1 ± 0.9 9.9 ± 1.0 10.6 ± 1.1 Al2O3
SO3 7.2 (2) 5.3 2.2 ± 0.4 2.8 ±0.6 3.9 ± 0.8 0.7 ± 0.3 2.6 ± 0.5 SO3
MgO 6.0 (2) 7.1 3.0 ± 0.5 4.9 ± 0.7 5.9 ± 0.9 3.0 ± 0.5 4.9 ± 0.7 MgO
CaO 5.8 (2) 7.3 5.3 ± 0.8 7.4 ± 1.1 6.6 ± 1.0 7.8 ±1.2 6.0 ± 0.9 CaO
Na2O 1.34 (3) 2.0 3.2 ± 1.3 3.1 ± 1.2 1.7 ± 0.7 2.0 ± 0.8 2.4 ± 1.0 Na2O
Cl 0.8 (2) 0.7 0.5 ± 0.1 0.5 ± 0.2 0.6 ± 0.2 0.3 ± 0.2 0.6 ± 0.2 Cl
P2O5 0.68 (3)             P2O5
TiO2 0.68 (2) 1.1 0.8 ± 0.2 1.0 ± 0.1 0.9 ± 0.1 0.7 ± 0.1 0.9 ± 0.1 TiO2
MnO 0.45 (3)             MnO
Cr2O 0.29 (3)             Cr2O
K2O 0.10 (3) 0.5 0.7 ± 0.1 0.7 ± 0.1 0.5 ± 0.1 0.5 ± 0.1 0.8 ± 0.1 K2O
CO3 <2 (4)             CO3
H2O 0-1 (5)             H2O
Constituent Concentration (%)

(Kieffer et al., 1992)

Notes Average Martian Soil

(Beatty et al., 1999)

"Barnacle Bill"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Wedge"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Yogi"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Shark"

(McSween et al., 1999)

"Half Dome"

(McSween et al., 1999)

Constituent

(1) Based on elemental composition, expressed as oxides.
(2) Based on direct soil analyses from Viking X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer.
(3) Based on SNC meteorite analyses.
(4) Based on terrestrial simulations of Viking Labelled Release experiment.
(5) Spatially and temporally variable.

References

Beatty, J.K., Petersen, C.C., and Chaikin, A. (eds.) (1999) The New Solar System. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 421 pages.

Beer,R., Norton, R.H., and Martonchik, J.V. (1971) Astronomical Infrared Spectroscopy with a Connes-type Interferometer. II. Mars, 2500-3500 cm-1. Icarus 15, 1-10.

Carr, M.H. (1996) Water on Mars. Oxford University Press, New York, 229 pages.

Folkner, W.M., Yoder, C.F., Yuan, D.N., Standish, E.M., and Preston, R.A. (1997) Interior Structure and Seasonal Mass Redistribution of Mars from Radio Tracking of Mars Pathfinder. Science 278, 1749-1752.

Golombek, M.P., R.C. Anderson, J.R. Barnes, J.F. Bell III, N.T. Bridges, D.T. Britt, J. Brückner, R.A. Cook, D. Crisp, J. Crisp, Cook, R.A., T. Economou, W.M. Folkner, R. Greeley, R.M. Haberle, R.B. Hargraves, J.A. Harris, A.F.C. Haldemann, K.E. Herkenhoff, S.F. Hviid, R. Jaumann, J.R. Johnson, P.H. Kallemeyn, H.U. Keller, R.L. Kirk, J.M. Knudsen, S. Larsen, M. Lemmon, M.B. Madsen, J.A. Magalhães, J.N. Maki, M.C. Malin, R.M. Manning, J. Matijevic, H.Y. McSween, Jr., H.J. Moore, S.L. Murchie, J.R. Murphie, T.J. Parker, R. Rieder, T.P. Rivellini, J.T. Schofield, A. Seiff, R. Singer, P.H. Smith, L.A. Soderblom, D.A. Spencer, C. Stoker, R. Sullivan, N. Thomas, S.W. Thurman, M.G. Tomasko, R.M. Vaughan, H. Wänke, W. Ward, G. Wilson (1999) Overview of the Mars Pathfinder Mission: Launch Through Landing, Surface Operations, Data Sets, and Science Results. J. Geophys. Res. 104(E4), 8523-8553.

Justus, C.G. and Chimonas, G. (1989) The Mars Global Reference Atmosphere Model (Mars-GRAM). Georgia Tech. Project G-35-685, prepared for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center under Grant No. NAG8-078, July, 1989.

Kieffer, H.H., Jakosky, B.M., Snyder, C.W., and Matthews, M.S. (eds.) (1992) Mars. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1498 pages.

Krasnopolsky, V.A., Bjoraker, G.L., Mumma, M.J., and Jennings, D.E. (1997) High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Mars at 3.7 and 8 mm: A Sensitive Search for H2O2, H2CO, HCl, and CH4, and Detection of HDO. J. Geophys. Res. 102(E3), 6525-6534.

Konopliv, A. and Sjogren, W. (1995) The JPL Mars Gravity Field, Mars50c, Based upon Viking and Mariner Doppler Tracking Data. JPL Publication 95-5, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.

Maguire, W.C. (1977) Martian Isotopic Ratios and Upper Limits for Possible Minor Constituents as Derived from Mariner 9 Infrared Spectrometer Data. Icarus 32, 85-97.

McSween, H.Y., Murchie, S.L., Crisp, J.A., Bridges, N.T., Anderson, R.C., Bell III, J.F., Britt, D.T., Brückner, J., Dreibus, G., Economou, T., Ghosh, A., Golombek, M.P., Greenwood, J.P., Johnson, J.R., Moore, H.J., Morris, R.V., Parker, T.J., Rieder, R., Singer, R., and Wänke, H. (1999) Chemical, Multispectral, and Textural Constraints on the Composition and Origin of Rocks at the Mars Pathfinder Landing Site. J. Geophys. Res. 104(E4), 8679-8715.

Owen, T. and Sagan, C. (1972) Minor Constituents in Planetary Atmospheres: Ultraviolet Spectroscopy from the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. Icarus 16, 557-568.

Schofield, J.T., Barnes, J.R., Crisp, D., Haberle, R.M., Larsen, S., Magalhães, J.A., Murphy, J.R., Seiff, A., and Wilson, G. (1997) The Mars Pathfinder Atmospheric Structure Investigation/Meteorology (ASI/MET) Experiment. Science 278, 1752-1758.

Smith, D.E., Zuber, M.T., Solomon, S.C., Phillips, R.J., Head, J.W., Garvin, J.B., Banerdt, W.B., Muhleman, D.O., Pettengill, G.H., Neumann, G.A., Lemoine, F.G., Abshire, J.B., Aharonson, O., Brown, C.D., Hauck, S.A., Ivanov, A.B., McGovern, P.J., Zwally, H.J., and Duxbury, T.C. (1999) The Global Topography of Mars and Implications for Surface Evolution. Science 284, 1495-1503.

Smith, P.H. and Lemmon, M. (1999) Opacity of the Martian Atmosphere Measured by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder. J. Geophys. Res. 104(E4), 8975-8985.

Smith, P.H., Bell III, J.F., Bridges, N.T., Britt, D.T., Gaddis, L., Greeley, R., Keller, H.U., Herkenhoff, K.E., Jaumann, R., Johnson, J.R., Kirk, R.L., Lemmon, M., Maki, J.N., Malin, M.C., Murchie, S.L., Oberst, J., Parker, T.J., Reid, R.J., Sablotny, R., Soderblom, L.A., Stoker, C., Sullivan, R., Thomas, N., Tomasko, M.G., Ward, W., and Wegryn, E. (1997) Results from the Mars Pathfinder Camera. Science 278, 1758-1765.

Spohn, T., Sohl, F., and Breuer, D. (1998) Mars. Astronomy and Astrophysics Review 8, 181-236.

Standish, E.M., Newhall, X.X., Williams, J.G., and Folkner, W.M. (1995) JPL Planetary and Lunar Ephemerides, DE403/LE403. JPL IOM 314.10 - 127, May 22, 1995.

Vaughan, R. (1995) Planetary Constants and Models. JPL D-12947, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.


Author: Ernst Hauber, Web maintainer: René Laufer
Last Modification: Monday, 28-Feb-2000 19:13:41 CET