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Mars weather forecast: Clear skies, high of -30

  1. May 28, 2008 #1
    An article from the Globe and Mail, the 37 million dollar canadian space station onboard phoenix reports its first weather readings. If your planning on traveling to mars for a spring getaway I suggest you pack your winter clothing.


    "Mars weather forecast: Clear skies, high of -30
    ANNE MCILROY

    From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

    May 27, 2008 at 8:14 PM EDT

    The reddish-beige sky was clear, temperatures reached a high of –30 degrees and a low of –80, and winds were out of the northeast at 20 kilometres an hour.

    A Canadian weather station on board the U.S. Phoenix probe made history Tuesday with its first report from the Martian arctic. The $37-million station was activated within an hour of the landing on Sunday evening, but the information wasn't relayed to an orbiting satellite and then back to Earth until Monday night."


    (The entire article can be found on the globe and mails website under technology, however since I created a new username beacause i forgot my old password and have not surpassed 15 posts yet so i cannot post URL)


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  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2008 #2
  4. May 28, 2008 #3
    Awesome you found the article, im quite fascinated by this mars mission. I hope they continue to post weather reports it would be itneresting to keep track of them and see how the weather flucuates and such compared to our own globe.

    Does anyone know how long phoenix is estimated to function for? I would imagine they are just going to run it until all its energy is used.
     
  5. May 28, 2008 #4

    russ_watters

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    I can't seem to find a mission duration anywhere, but like the rovers, Phoenix gets its power from the sun. The rovers are currently in the fifth year of their intended 90 day lifespan.
     
  6. May 28, 2008 #5

    Janus

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    I believe that the lander is expected to run for about 3 or 4 months. The problem is that is that it is far enough North, that as Martian winter approaches the Sun disappears below the horizon for longer and longer periods. Eventually, there will not be enough sunlight to keep the batteries charged and the lander will run out of juice. The lander is also expected to be buried under accumulated frost as winter sets in.
     
  7. May 28, 2008 #6

    russ_watters

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    Ahh, that makes sense. I wonder if there is any thought to trying to resurrect it next [Martian] summer?
     
  8. May 28, 2008 #7
    I've been wondering that myself but can't seem to find an answer. The engineers mentioned that after the primary mission has ended (approx 90 days) it will just become a weather station. They also mention hoping that it will last long enough to actually watch the encroaching ice or snowfall accumulation.

    I'm guessing equipment will start to fail after it reaches a certain low temperature. The battery being the primary one.
     
  9. May 29, 2008 #8
    So if mars gets frost which would be dry ice (co2) that means it allready has some kind of carbon cycle correct?

    Something ive always wondered, thousands of years maybe less or more, increased solar output causes a global warming on mars which could possibly release more c02 from the polar ice caps. If the average global temperature were to reach a suitable degree possibly, mars could sustain plant life even if it being types of mosses and evergreens capable of flourishing in cold regions.
     
  10. May 29, 2008 #9
    Your right about their being a carbon cycle. I remember reading a few different research papers where (on average) there's an agreement that approximately 1/4 of the visible condensed CO2 is annually distributed into the atmosphere. Later in the cycle, it condenses back into solid CO2 while completely passing a liquid phase. I can't remember specifics, but it's primarily due to the mix of pressures and temperatures.
     
  11. May 30, 2008 #10
    Yea the cycle would be nothing like earths considering mars has no tectonic plates no man made greenhouse gases and i dont think it has any active volcanoes except some may suggest otherwise, maybe phoenix will turn up something interesting.
     
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