A new meteorologist appeared on Mars. Although the NASA InSight spacecraft landed on the red planet at the end of 201
which includes not only daily high and low temperatures , but also unprecedented hourly data on speed, direction and air pressure for the location of InSight near the equator in Elysium Planitia. "We thought this was something people could have fun," said Arsen, Don Banfield, from Cornell University, in charge of the science of InSight weather. accurate air pressure sensor. The new sensor is 10 times more sensitive than any other device, because InSight needs to detect minor movements on the Martian land, and from these movements displays details of the interior of the red planet. For this, the weather has a value
The Martian atmosphere can be very thin – it usually ranges from 700 to 740 pascal on the surface, less than one percent of the earth's surface pressure, but nevertheless may cause small inclination on the surface of Mars . Thus, the air pressure sensor helps the scientist calibrate the seismometer so that any inclination through higher or lower air pressure can be filtered from the data. It is actually quite strange that even such a subtle atmosphere may have little effect on the Martian surface, and that the InSight seismometer is sensitive enough to detect it.
Since InSight landed in November last year, Banfield and other scientists were eagerly studying data from an air pressure sensor and they made several discoveries. Some expected, for example, gravitational waves in the Martian atmosphere. The tool measured these repeated oscillations in the atmosphere of most evenings. Such waves of gravitation are also observed in the atmosphere of the Earth, in particular, when a mountain or an island disturb the uniform air mass.
But scientists also discovered something mysterious in the pressure data on the surface of Mars. Two times a day on Mars, near the local 7 am and 7 pm, the hiccup is that otherwise there should be a smooth rise and drop in pressure on the surface. Initially, scientists believed that this should be caused by something on the trigger, but eventually they could exclude the cause because of an anomaly of the device or a source of heating on InSight.
This function is repeated and "a little weird," said Banfield. This was not foreseen in any of the global or regional weather patterns for Mars. At present, scientists believe that this feature should be some kind of atmospheric wave, associated with the sunrise and sunset on Mars. Perhaps there are descending air streams moving from a steep relief associated with the motion of the sun, which briefly broke atmospheric changes
From the point of view of temperatures and winds, there were fewer surprises. The days of Mars are not very cold, with highs in the range from -10 to -15 degrees Celsius. The night is cold where InSight falls to -95 degrees Celsius. The winds are not too surprising, although scientists have seen more vigilant devils than expected. the planet Dust plays a huge role on Mars in the amount of energy absorbed by the surface of the planet, and how much it emits back into space. Scientists also want to understand the minimum winds required to remove dust from the surface, the necessary precursor for dusty devils and dust storms. Banfield said that he built a sensor to do exactly the same measurements and that he hopes to fly on a future mission to Mars