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#1 2003-12-16 12:51:38

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

BBC online

uh-oh... sad

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#2 2003-12-16 14:46:55

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

*This is being followed at http://www.spaceweather.com, for anyone who's interested.  Each day's news is archived.  I posted similar info in the "New Discoveries *2*" thread earlier today.

Hopefully the storms will dissipate before the probes descend.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#3 2003-12-16 18:12:22

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Happy holidays? sad

If I recall, one of the Viking probes almost had to land in a dust storm, but it dissipated at the right momment. Or was it Pathfinder?


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#4 2003-12-17 08:32:46

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

*Here's some extra news from http://spaceweather.com for today, Wednesday the 17th.

[You've got to go to the site if you want to see the pics mentioned in the first paragraph.  Amateur astronomers are keeping keen track of this, I see.  smile  We're already familiar with the info in the last paragraph, but I'm pasting it here anyway]

Again, all daily info at Spaceweather.com is archived.  Note especially the middle paragraph (increased magnitude due to storm...):

Above: Martian dust clouds on Dec. 16th, photographed by Don Parker of Coral Gables, Florida. See also images of Mars on Dec 13th and 14th from Don Parker; on Dec. 15th from Ed Grafton; and Dec. 16th from Joel Warren.

A curious side-effect of the storm is the increasing brightness of Mars. "Mars was about 0.17 magnitudes brighter on Dec. 15th," says ALPO executive director Richard Schmude, Jr. "This increase is due to [sunlight reflected by] dust. Polarization measurements also indicate the presence of some dust."

Dust storms on Mars sometimes grow so large that they encircle the entire planet. Will this one? No one knows. But with three space probes (Beagle 2, Spirit & Opportunity) set to land on Mars in the coming weeks, astronomers will be watching carefully to see what happens.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#5 2003-12-19 09:45:32

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

*This is being followed at http://www.spaceweather.com, for anyone who's interested.  Each day's news is archived.

*Check the information in the quote box above.

The entry at the web site for Friday, December 19 includes a movie (from the Mars Global Surveyor), which shows how the dust has spread.  The movie is titled "Atmospheric Dust Abundance."

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#6 2003-12-19 09:55:09

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

afraid i'm gonna repeat myself:

uh-oh...

Doesn't look too good, eh?

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#7 2003-12-19 10:35:55

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

afraid i'm gonna repeat myself:

uh-oh...

Doesn't look too good, eh?

*It's definitely worrisome (especially, IMO, given that even the smaller amateur telescopes can make out the increase).  But this is my first time to follow something like this on the internet...

Mars is one of the first objects I'll be keeping track of when my 'scope arrives in a few days.  We've still got 6 days until the 25th; hopefully the storm will dissipate within that time.

Keep our fingers crossed...

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#8 2003-12-19 13:09:26

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Good news?

BBC Online

Prof Pillinger says there'll be no problem (at least for Beagle 2)

"My information is very much that it's not going to be a big concern"

Have to say, i don't like that 'big'...

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#9 2003-12-19 14:08:52

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Good news?

BBC Online

Prof Pillinger says there'll be no problem (at least for Beagle 2)

"My information is very much that it's not going to be a big concern"

Have to say, i don't like that 'big'...

*And away we go!  :laugh:

"Beagle 2 has successfully separated from its mothership for the final leg of the journey to Mars...The tiny probe will now glide the last three million kilometers to the Red Planet alone; silent, powerless and in hibernation mode."

Very nice image of the little Beagle 2 floating away.  Nice article, Rik.  smile

I wonder if that scientist (Prof. Pillinger) really doesn't consider it a "big concern," or if he's being diplomatic and trying to ease anxiety. 

Nice graphs, too. 

How fast are probes like Beagle 2 traveling when they hit the ground with their airbag cushions?  I probably have known, but forgot (my overtaxed brain).

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#10 2003-12-19 14:15:50

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

I wonder if that scientist (Prof. Pillinger) really doesn't consider it a "big concern," or if he's being diplomatic and trying to ease anxiety.

Well, you know the British, keeping the stiff upper lip and all that... big_smile

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#11 2003-12-19 14:19:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

I wonder if that scientist (Prof. Pillinger) really doesn't consider it a "big concern," or if he's being diplomatic and trying to ease anxiety.

Well, you know the British, keeping the stiff upper lip and all that... big_smile

*Oh yeah...I forgot about that.   :;):  Pip, pip!

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#12 2003-12-20 02:30:53

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Yoiks, tally-ho ... and awwf we jolly well go!!!
                                     big_smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#13 2003-12-20 02:40:36

Christina
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2002-05-07
Posts: 59

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Oh, fine, go ahead and mock.

Would NASA be panicing and issuing negative press statements if it was in this situation? No, of course not.

Got to look on the bright side.


the early bird may get the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese

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#14 2003-12-20 02:52:44

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Christina, we're not mocking...

We're just fooling around a bit. Beagle 2 is a fantastic piece of machinery, built on a shoestring budget.

I surely wish the team all the success they can get, they deserve it.

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#15 2003-12-24 08:48:27

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

*Storm has stalled!  smile  And other good news!

Today's information (December 24) from the good folks at Spaceweather.com:

"A large dust storm on Mars, visible in backyard telescopes since Dec. 13th, has stalled. It's no longer growing --->and, best of all, has not yet reached the landing site of the European Space Agency's Beagle 2 probe,<--- which is due to parachute into the Isidis Planitia Basin on Christmas Day."

Go Beagle!!

--Cindy  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#16 2003-12-24 17:51:19

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Many thanks, Cindy, for that absolutely brilliant good news!
    That blasted dust storm has been a nagging worry at the back of my mind for days and now I can rest easy knowing it probably won't affect Isidis.
                                        smile

    Christina, don't misread what we all mean here. For my part, if you knew how much these probes mean to me, you wouldn't imagine for a moment that I could make light of their fate. I'm pretty sure that goes for all of us at this thread, too.
                                            smile

    [P.S. I hope everyone at New Mars has a very happy Christmas and that 2004 is a wonderful year for all of us.]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#17 2003-12-24 18:12:03

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

While we're at it, NASA could very well be issuing panicky statements if they were in the same boat... Lately they use to warn everyone how difficult all this stuff is, ever since Columbia... They're still a bit shell-shocked...

(Damn... the mere thought of Columbia breaking up makes me sad...)

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#18 2003-12-24 18:40:24

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

BTW, just wanted to tell you guys, we'll get first signs of contact around 6:30/7:00 GMT, which is 1:30 on the east coast (of the US, of course!).

I'm staying up! Hope everyone has a happy holiday!


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#19 2003-12-24 18:41:46

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Even Al- Jazeera has an article on Beagle 2!
(too bad for the slight error: rocket instead of sat, but interesting article nontheless... Some trivia I didn't read elsewhere...)
Al-Jazeera

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#20 2003-12-25 03:14:29

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Mars Express made a successful orbit! smile

And holy crap! I was reading the specs, and the camera it has is amazing! I can't wait to see the pictures it takes! My god. (I wonder how long until Hoaglands people are pressing the EASA to get super high res pictures of "The Face"? Ahah, it's like a tradition now!).

In other news, Beagle 2 was not picked up by the first Odyssey pass. sad

I was watching the webcast and someone mentioned something about a second Odyssey pass this morning, but I think I may have misheard, so I'll probably hit the hay after having a bit more egg nog. The next opportunity, which is an Earth-based radio observatory (according to the timeline), won't be until 5:45 EST.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#21 2003-12-25 04:33:48

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

Doom and gloom headline from Reuters... And they keep calling the sats "rockets"!
Space probe lost on Mars

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#22 2003-12-25 06:15:47

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Dust storms could spell disaster for probes - several small storms starting

I started a new thread, dedicated solely on Beagle, with the torrent of missions underway, might be a good idea to start separate topics on the different landers/stats, to keep the board a bit tidy... Of course, some of the missions are intertwined: Beagle communicates (hopefully) with MarsExpress and Odyssey, for a start...

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