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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

THE NORTH POLAR REGION OF MARS DURING 2016

Abstract

On January 3, 2016 Mars’ Northern hemisphere reached its summer solstice (Astronomical Almanac for 2016). The NPC and clouds were examined afterwards and these are described. A large spiral-shaped cloud developed on March 10-11, 2016. During the last 11 Mars years, similar clouds have been imaged in eight of them. Therefore, it is concluded that a spiral-shaped cloud usually develops near Mars’ NPC during summer. The permanent North Polar Cap (pNPC) had a mean radius of 9.1° which is similar to that in apparitions between 1903 and 2014. It is concluded that after late spring, the pNPC retains the same size. A study of cloud abundance near the pNPC with respect to longitude and seasonal date was also carried out. It is concluded that the North Polar Hood develops gradually. The data are also consistent with a large number of clouds developing near 210° W longitude in the North Polar Region during mid-summer. The writer is grateful for a Faculty Development Grant which enabled him to use the WinJUPOS software package.

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