In The Field

Phoenix landing: The weather report

weather.jpg By the way, among the pictures retrieved from the first sol on Mars were the first data from the weather station. The weather report: highs of -30 degrees Celsius, lows of -80 degrees, and winds gusting up to 20 kilometers per hour from the northeast.

The wind speeds were based on photos of the telltale, though they don’t know if the pictures they have reflect gusts or swirls. But Phoenix PI Peter Smith says he’s not worried about dust accumulating on the solar arrays. As with the Mars rovers, he will rely on periodic dust devils to sweep them free. “These dust devils are so efficient, we thought we’d use the same method,” he says.

And if you’re not happy with the weather wherever you are, you can remind yourself how good you’ve got it by downloading a daily Mars weather widget for your Mac. (I myself am going to miss the perfect 30 degree Celsius days here in Tucson.)

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