If a person were standing on the surface of Mars, under ideal viewing conditions for seeing a meteor: no clouds, the sun has long set, would a meteor be visible to the naked eye considering how thin the Martian atmosphere is?


2 Answers 2


First Shooting Star Seen from Mars
space.com 2005
enter image description here
The background image shows the meteor near the top-left and the horizon at the bottom. A red arrow shows the direction of travel. The inset is a larger version of the meteor itself. The graph is a "light curve" that aided in tying the meteor to comet Wiseman–Skiff. (Image: © Nature/NASA/Spirit/F. Selsis et al.)

This was made by Spirit's panoramic camera, so it probably would be visible to the naked (helmeted) eye.


Yes. There actually is an example. From the below text:

Dust from the comet impacted Mars and was vaporized high in the atmosphere, producing what was likely an impressive meteor shower.


  • $\begingroup$ Well... that article says the dust led to a long-lasting ion cloud which is what produced photons (mostly UV). If the OP wanted to know whether a meteor would heat up and produce a streak as happens on Earth, that's not quite clear. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2019 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ The articles states that there must have been an impressive meteor shower, which would be the visible part. I wasn't aware that there actually is a photo of a meteor on Mars, so there is that. @Keith McClary's answer deserves to be accepted, imo. $\endgroup$
    – user31179
    Dec 18, 2019 at 23:55

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