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The atmosphere of Mars protects it's surface from micrometeorites. How significantly does the Martian atmosphere reduce radiation in comparison with, for example, the Moon's surface or open space?

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Radiation on Mars is an issue,

Mars has no global magnetic field comparable to Earth's geomagnetic field. Combined with a thin atmosphere, this permits a significant amount of ionizing radiation to reach the Martian surface.

Readings by the Curiosity rover during its first 300 days on Mars were between 200 and 250 micro-Gray per day.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you please explain how that compares to radiation environment, say, on any two of its moons? Mention of crustal magnetism, daily variations and at what altitude MSL RAD measurements were made wouldn't go amiss either, so effects of Martian atmosphere can be appreciated better. Also, the graph in the source you link to shows 180 to 225 μGray/day (in silicon), with one solar particle event, and one substantial dip before it (Forbush decrease?). During cruise measurements, it seems it was consistently higher, roughly 250 - 300 μGray/day (also in silicon). Cheers! $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Aug 9 '15 at 16:35

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