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The Storm, Dust storm of 2007
djellison
post Jul 5 2007, 10:39 PM
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That's true - I remember the depths of Spirits winter, and they mentioned that they got away with less than the 240whrs they thought they needed, because the vehicle ended up staying warmer than they expected.

Doug
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ustrax
post Jul 5 2007, 10:53 PM
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it is my oppinion that if Oppy survives this we should take to Ithaca...in shoulders!


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slinted
post Jul 5 2007, 11:05 PM
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QUOTE (Sunspot @ Jul 5 2007, 03:06 PM) *
Are there any pictures of the dust storm anywhere? This isn't looking good. sad.gif


I'm sure there are other resources for finding amateur images of Mars, but the Mars Observers Yahoo group isn't a bad place to keep track of daily images of the storm. Imaging Mars isn't too easy now , but I'm consistently impressed with what you can see even in low res images. Unfortunately, you need to join the group to read the messages/see the images.
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Tom Tamlyn
post Jul 5 2007, 11:17 PM
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Is the MRO's Mars Climate Sounder able to return observations that are helpful in understanding the current dust storms? Are the observations useful for rover operations or only for long-term assessments of the atmosphere?

TTT
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helvick
post Jul 5 2007, 11:49 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Jul 5 2007, 10:56 PM) *
What happened after the, admitedly much more modest regional storm, that Opportunity had in the 600-ish range - the one that made it sleep in late one morning?
Doug

The purple line is a 30 Sol moving average and the red line is a 50 sol moving average trend line on that. I had to do that in order to dampen out the noise sufficiently to see any trends at all but it means that the data in those lines is shifted to the right by 30 and 80 sols so keep that in mind.
It is pretty clear (to me maybe others differ) that stormier high Tau weather (such as seen around sol 370, 420 and 510) are followed rapidly by an increase in dust deposition rate from ~0.2% per sol to ~0.3% per sol. I would assume that the much more severe dust levels we are now seeing would result in higher deposition rates fairly soon but we'll only know for sure once it happens.
Attached Image


Also Pavel's comment on night time temperatures is correct - at Tau=2 night time minimum temperatures would be about 15-20 degrees warmer IIRC and I'd expect that Tau-4 would improve that again. The effect is the similar to that seen here on earth where cloud cover raises night time temperatures.

That said the stuck heater on Oppy means she draws a bit more juice than Spirit. Again IIRC the heater in question draws 15watts and is activated if the atmospheric temperature falls below -52C and stays on until it warms up past -42c - they use Deep Sleep to keep it off during the night however I think they still have to live with it being stuck on for at least two hours per Sol under the best conditions so Oppy needs about 30 Whr per Sol more than Spirit.
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john_s
post Jul 5 2007, 11:53 PM
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Here's another nice site for amateur images of Mars, and other Mars news:

International Mars Watch

John.
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slinted
post Jul 6 2007, 12:22 AM
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Dr. Lemmon has an update on his dust devil page, with some specific tau figures:
QUOTE
New, sol 1244: The recent dust storm activity has been intense for both rovers. Opportunity experience optical depths of (starting sol 1215) 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, 2.2, 2.6, 3.0, 3.3, 2.7, 3.1, 4.0, 4.1, rising from a background of 1.0. Spirit's opacity remained near 0.9 until starting on 1239 it went to 1.0, 1.0, 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 2.4, 2.3. On sols 1239 and 1244, movies caught some dust devil activity. Sol 1240's movie did not see any activity. Recent sols have seen minor dust cleaning and deposition, but I'm not aware of major changes. The sol 1244 movie shows a much more indistinct horizon. The winds at Meridiani, especially, have probably been quite intense at times.
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Pando
post Jul 6 2007, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE (slinted @ Jul 5 2007, 05:22 PM) *
Dr. Lemmon has an update on his dust devil page, with some specific tau figures:

Tau is 4.1 now!!! ohmy.gif
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fredk
post Jul 6 2007, 04:17 AM
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QUOTE (Pando @ Jul 6 2007, 03:20 AM) *
Tau is 4.1 now!!!
That's a bit better than our estimate of 4.6 based on the 99% direct sunlight attenuation quoted in the Space.com story. From Lemmon's site it was 3.1 on sol 1223. Was that a sol 1224 figure, Pando?
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Astro0
post Jul 6 2007, 05:24 AM
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Just got some feedback that Sol 1225 Tau is 4.125.
Oppy is at 255Whr.

Pray!
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Stu
post Jul 6 2007, 05:30 AM
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Murky sky... hang on in there, Oppy...

Attached Image


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Guest_Bobby_*
post Jul 6 2007, 05:52 AM
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The dust storm has delayed Oppy from entering Victoria Crater for now:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=1411
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djellison
post Jul 6 2007, 07:25 AM
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What with the stuck shoulder joint heater, 255 is a lot worse for Opportunity than for Spirit

Doug
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Tesheiner
post Jul 6 2007, 10:59 AM
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QUOTE (Astro0 @ Jul 6 2007, 07:24 AM) *
Just got some feedback that Sol 1225 Tau is 4.125.
Oppy is at 255Whr.

Pray!


Checked the imaging plan for sol 1226 and it's only composed of two or three tau measurements. It remember Spirit during mid-winter times and looks like the available power would be not enough to run other things.

Keep strong little rover!
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belleraphon1
post Jul 6 2007, 11:54 AM
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Dust storm.... high tau...... high winds.....

Knowledge always comes with a price......

Yes, hang in there little rovers......

Craig
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