What Is the Atmosphere On Mars Like and How Much Carbon Dioxide Is There On the Planet Mars?

The atmosphere on Mars is relatively weak.

It is so thin that damaging ultraviolet solar radiation makes its way unimpeded to the planet’s surface.

Carbon dioxide makes up 95 percent of the atmosphere, followed by nitrogen (2.7 percent) and argon (1.6 percent).

Oxygen, water vapor, neon, krypton, xenon, and ozone comprise less than 1 percent of the atmosphere on Mars.

All of these gases are found in Earth’s atmosphere, but in very different percentages.

The air pressure on Mars resembles what we expect in a vacuum, almost nil.

Dust clouds exist up to about 12 miles (20 km) above Mars’s surface. Clouds of ice crystals (water) lie above the dust.

About 18 miles (30 km) up, there is a layer of hazy dust.

Carbon dioxide ice clouds are found 30 miles (50 km) from the planet’s surface.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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