Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nov 15th MSL Teleconference

src: nasajpl
  Today's telecon dealt primarily with Curiosity's local environmental conditions such as dust devils, pressure fluctuations and radiation levels. The pressure fluctuations not only exhibit daily changes but also changes over a longer timeframe. Mars is currently moving closer to the Sun and will reach perhelion on Jan. 23, 2013*. The radiation on Mars is more easily affected by its environment in space since it has lost its magnetic field and has a relatively thin atmosphere as compared with Earth conditions. The radiation levels fluctuate during the day and are greatest when the atmospheric pressure is lowest. The local winds also fluctuate throughout the day and move up slope on Mt Sharp and Gale Crater's rim during the day and down slope at night. Curiosity is near the center of these two flows and is in the region where winds flow around Mt Sharp.   related press release   telecon images   Timekeeping on Mars   Mars24 Sunclock
*Supplemental (Nov 15): MICA's perihelion is 2013 Jan 24 08:56 UT

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