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The Storm, Dust storm of 2007
sattrackpro
post Jul 6 2007, 12:24 PM
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There is an interesting article about dust storms on the hubble-site HERE - that foretells a possible second following storm. (Hope not!)

Here's the relevant excerpt:

After three months, the storm is beginning to wane. The planet's shrouded surface has cooled, and this allowed the winds to die down and the fine dust to begin settling. However, Mars is approaching the closest point of its orbit to the Sun. Once the atmosphere begins to clear, the return of unfiltered solar radiation may trigger additional high winds and kick up the dust all over again. This one-two punch has been seen in previous Mars storms for centuries.

The article is old - but could multiple storms be caused, or have been caused in this fashion with this episode?
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helvick
post Jul 6 2007, 01:03 PM
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Multiple major storms do happen in some years - the Vikings saw two in 1977 for example.
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mhoward
post Jul 6 2007, 01:54 PM
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At least she was still taking pictures on sol 1225, and the calibration target looks clean. It's now morning on sol 1226. Let's keep our fingers crossed...



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tedstryk
post Jul 6 2007, 01:57 PM
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Speaking of Hubble, it will look at Mars near the end of this month to help with MARCI's calibration woes, but in the process, it may catch the aftermath of this.


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Guest_Analyst_*
post Jul 6 2007, 02:07 PM
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QUOTE (mhoward @ Jul 6 2007, 01:54 PM) *
... and the calibration target looks clean.


Very clean I have to say. Probably better than before?

Analyst
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centsworth_II
post Jul 6 2007, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE (Analyst @ Jul 6 2007, 10:07 AM) *
Very clean...

But almost no shadow. There's the rub. sad.gif
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hortonheardawho
post Jul 6 2007, 02:37 PM
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colorized Spirit sol 1244 ( July 4, 2007 ) L0 1x2:



Just a guess.
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diane
post Jul 6 2007, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE (Astro0 @ Jul 6 2007, 12:24 AM) *
Just got some feedback that Sol 1225 Tau is 4.125.
Oppy is at 255Whr.

Does anyone know what Oppy's power reserves were before the storm got bad? I assume she can withstand some days of low power input, if the batteries were well-charged before the Tau got so high.

She doesn't have to survive a whole martian winter on low power.... Hopefully just a few days.
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dvandorn
post Jul 6 2007, 06:07 PM
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I'm actually a little more worried about Spirit than I am about Oppy. This dust is all still entrained in the atmosphere, it hasn't really started to fall out yet. I don't know why, but I have this gut feeling that Meridiani may collect less dust from this storm than Gusev eventually will. Maybe because there is less overall dust accumulation on the ground at Meridiani than there is at Gusev; it just feels like Meridiani doesn't collect dust as effectively as Gusev does. (Maybe Gusev's crater rim causes a large-scale swirl in the winds that tends to make dust collect within, while the lack of any such circulation patterns at Meridiani keeps it from getting dumped on nearly as much.)

I guess I'm thinking that the dust ought to have specific patterns of fallout, based on when in the year the storms occur and what the wind patterns are like at the time. It also may have something to do with your distance from where the storms start and how they grow. It just feels like, since Oppy was closer to this storm as it formed, it may actually get away with having less of the dust dumped on it than other places on the planet -- perhaps even halfway across the globe.

Also, rather obviously, the polar caps display a process in which dust is often sandwiched between layers of dry ice. It may well be that a majority of the dust pulled up during these major storms ends up being deposited at the fall/winter pole, to which the air is flowing and where the air is precipitating out and plating itself onto the ground. That would tend to make sense from a global circulation pattern perspective.

-the other Doug


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akuo
post Jul 7 2007, 12:26 AM
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Some new information in this National Geographic article.

Jacob Matijevic is confident of rover survival.


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kungpostyle
post Jul 7 2007, 12:41 AM
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Jake seems confident;

best rover news I've heard in a couple of days!


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mhoward
post Jul 7 2007, 01:45 AM
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A handful of sol 1226 images are online. Just solar-filter images so far.
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MarsIsImportant
post Jul 7 2007, 05:02 AM
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Sol 1226...look how clean the rover looks!

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportuni...R9P1962R0M1.JPG
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CosmicRocker
post Jul 7 2007, 06:40 AM
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She looked very clean, but that image should be from sol 1223. I suspect she is still pretty clean, despite the dust storm.

It's nice to hear that somewhat positive news from national geographic. I can't help but wonder if this would have been more of a survivability issue for the rovers if they hadn't been cleaned by the earlier winds. I also can't help but wonder if such early, cleaning winds might be expected prior to a dust storm.


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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Jul 7 2007, 07:36 AM
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www.spaceweather.com reports the storm has intensified and grown. blink.gif

QUOTE
MARS UPDATE: A late-June dust storm that delayed Mars rover Opportunity's descent into Victoria Crater has intensified and spread around the planet, reports veteran observer Jim Melka of St. Louis, Missouri. On July 6th, the view through Melkin's 12-inch telescope showed "a chain of five dust clouds over Mare Cimmerium," he says. "One cloud is very close to the location of the Opportunity's twin, Spirit." Stay tuned for updates.
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