Albuquerque, my hometown, today has a snowy day where the school is canceled. It is 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius). But I have just checked the weather for Mars and I am now ready to put on a swimsuit and to peek into the balmy air of New Mexico.
The NASA InSight LG is our new weather manager for the Red Planet. NASA announced Tuesday that the machine was providing a daily update of the weather on Mars from its landing site at Elysium Planitia, not far from the planet 's equator.
The most recent statistics of Sol 81 (February 17 on Earth) indicate a maximum of 2 Fahrenheit (-17 Celsius) and a minimum of -138 Fahrenheit (-95 Celsius). Brrr. You can also view the wind speed and atmospheric pressure data for each day.
"It gives you the feeling of visiting an extraterrestrial place," said Don Banfield, Chief of Meteorological Science at InSight, Cornell University. "Mars has familiar atmospheric phenomena that are still very different from those of the Earth."
InSight uses a set of sensors called Auxiliary Payload Subsystem (APSS) to collect meteorological data. While giving the public a fun preview of the weather on Mars, they will let NASA study the seasonal changes and activity of the dust devil.
The sensors will also help the seismometer team to determine if the instrument supports earthquakes, or if the instrument could instead be affected by environmental events.
InSight's mission is to study the interior of Mars in order to learn more about the formation of rocky planets. The lander has already deployed a seismometer and placed adevice on the surface of the planet.
The next time you feel scared, do not miss the latest news from InSight on Mars. The Earth is not so bad after all.
NASA is 60 years old: The space agency has pushed humanity further than anyone and plans to go further.
Take it to the extreme: mix crazy situations – eruptive volcanic eruptions, nuclear collapses, 30-foot waves – with everyday technologies. This is what happens.