Ground truth from the Opportunity Rover for Mars thermal inertia data Journal Article uri icon



  • The temperature of the Martian surface has been measured by a number of spacecraft and numerical models of the surface thermal response constrain the near‐surface physical properties. The results allow inferences regarding the surface layer and help determine potential hazards for landed spacecraft. However, thermal models generally do not incorporate the degree of surface complexity that is seen from landers. Here we examine potential contributions to the thermal response along the Opportunity Rover's traverse by using ground truth in conjunction with orbiter data from the THEMIS instrument on Mars Odyssey. We show that the size distribution of the ubiquitous hematite spherules varies in a way that is consistent with expectations from orbiter data. Secondly, exposures of bedrock along Opportunity's traverse have no observable effect on the bulk thermal response seen from orbit. These field observations are an important step toward improving understanding of the physical composition of the Martian surface.

publication date

  • June 1, 2007

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • June 30, 2014 3:21 AM

Full Author List

  • Hynek BM; Singer K

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-8276

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1944-8007

Additional Document Info


  • 34


  • 11