JPL: InSight to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

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Re: InSight Prepares to Take Mars' Temperature

Post by neufer » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:36 pm

bystander wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:14 pm

DLR 'Mole' deployed on surface of Mars
German Aerospace Center (DLR) | 2019 Feb 13
  • Hamlet : Act I, scene V
Ghost: [Beneath] Swear.

HAMLET: Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
  • A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.
HORATIO: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
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InSight Is the Newest Mars Weather Service

Post by bystander » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:39 pm

InSight Is the Newest Mars Weather Service
NASA | JPL-Caltech | InSight | 2019 Feb 19
No matter how cold your winter has been, it's probably not as chilly as Mars. Check for yourself: Starting today, the public can get a daily weather report from NASA's InSight lander.

This public tool includes stats on temperature, wind and air pressure recorded by InSight. Sunday's weather was typical for the lander's location during late northern winter: a high of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) and low of -138 degrees Fahrenheit (-95 degrees Celsius), with a top wind speed of 37.8 mph (16.9 m/s) in a southwest direction. The tool was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, with partners at Cornell University and Spain's Centro de Astrobiología. JPL leads the InSight mission.

Through a package of sensors called the Auxiliary Payload Subsystem (APSS), InSight will provide more around-the-clock weather information than any previous mission to the Martian surface. The lander records this data during each second of every sol (a Martian day) and sends it to Earth on a daily basis. The spacecraft is designed to continue that operation for at least the next two Earth years, allowing it to study seasonal changes as well.

The tool will be geeky fun for meteorologists while offering everyone who uses it a chance to be transported to another planet. ...

Weather on Mars: Chilly with a chance of ‘dust devils’
Cornell University | 2019 Feb 19
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Re: JPL: InSight to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:28 am

And InSight is only 4.5 degrees north of the Martian equator, very much in the tropics.

I don't suppose the balmy south-westerly winds would feel like much at this spot (or any spot) on Mars.

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Re: JPL: InSight to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

Post by neufer » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:30 am

Nitpicker wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:28 am

And InSight is only 4.5 degrees north of the Martian equator, very much in the tropics.

I don't suppose the balmy south-westerly winds would feel like much at this spot (or any spot) on Mars.
As with the Earth, Subtropical winds
"in a southwest direction"

are, in fact, north-easterly Trade winds.
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Re: JPL: InSight to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:55 am

I did ponder that (and nearly asked the question because of the ambiguous wording in the news article) but decided that the Mars weather service would probably be using the common definition of wind direction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_direction
Wind direction is reported by the direction from which it originates.
[Did I really need to quote that to you? :) ]

So, I suspect they actually were predominantly SW winds (at least at ground level) on sol 81, and predominantly WNW winds on the sols prior. (Just noticed the news article doesn't match the wind speed table in the weather service report, which doesn't seem to match the graph.)

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Re: JPL: InSight to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

Post by neufer » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:44 am

Nitpicker wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:55 am

I did ponder that (and nearly asked the question because of the ambiguous wording in the news article) but decided that the Mars weather service would probably be using the common definition of wind direction:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_direction
Wind direction is reported by the direction from which it originates.
[Did I really need to quote that to you? :) ]

So, I suspect they actually were predominantly SW winds (at least at ground level) on sol 81, and predominantly WNW winds on the sols prior. (Just noticed the news article doesn't match the wind speed table in the weather service report, which doesn't seem to match the graph.)
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Wind direction is normally reported by the direction FROM which it originates (since weather vanes point INTO the wind).

However, the report here specifically states that the wind itself blew "IN a southwest direction".

If they were, in fact, SW winds then they should have reported that the wind itself blew "FROM a southwest direction".

[E.g., mid-latitude prevailing WESTERLIES blow in an EAST or EASTWARD direction.]
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Re: JPL: InSight to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:14 am

I agree. I think the news article incorrectly used "in" instead of "from". The actual weather report -- https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/ -- just says "wind direction", which has probably been misinterpreted by the author of the news article.

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DLR: InSight's "Mole" Starts Hammering into the Martian Soil

Post by bystander » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:06 pm

DLR's HP3 Experiment Starts Hammering into the Martian Soil
German Aerospace Center (DLR) | 2019 Mar 01
On 28 February 2019, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) ‘Mole’ fully automatically hammered its way into the Martian subsurface for the first time. In a first step, it penetrated to a depth between 18 and 50 centimetres into the Martian soil with 4000 hammer blows over a period of four hours. "On its way into the depths, the mole seems to have hit a stone, tilted about 15 degrees and pushed it aside or passed it," reports Tilman Spohn, Principal Investigator of the HP3 experiment. "The Mole then worked its way up against another stone at an advanced depth until the planned four-hour operating time of the first sequence expired. Tests on Earth showed that the rod-shaped penetrometer is able to push smaller stones to the side, which is very time-consuming.

After a cooling-off period, the researchers will command a second four-hour hammering sequence. In the following weeks, with further intervals, they want to reach a target depth of three to five metres on sufficiently porous ground. The Mole will pull a five-metre-long tether equipped with temperature sensors into the Martian soil behind it. The cable is equipped with 14 temperature sensors in order to measure the temperature distribution with depth and its change with time after reaching the target depth and thus the heat flow from the interior of Mars. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor