Giant Martian Dust Storm Threatens Opportunity Rover

Уфолог заявил о захороненном гуманоиде на Марсе

Уфолог заявил о захороненном гуманоиде на Марсе

The basic process for finding Martian organic compounds can be boiled down to two steps - separate organic molecules from the Martian rocks and sediments and give them an electric charge so they can be detected and identified by the mass spectrometer, NASA said. Though Opportunity was created to only operate for 90 days, it has continued to explore the planet for over 15 years.

NASA's Mars rover, Opportunity has ceased all its science operations and is reportedly waiting for the massive storm to pass away and clear skies to appear. "In a matter of days, the storm had ballooned", explained NASA's spokespersons in an official statement. This is because Mars is really cold, and Opportunity relies on power from its solar panels to keep its battery warm.

Within days, the dust storm expanded to over 7 million square miles, which is an area that is bigger than North America.

On June 6th, 2018, NASA has released a global map of Mars which was captured by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and in the map, it shows that the growing dust storm and in the middle a tiny blue dot which resembles the position of the rover.

Scientists gauge the strength of a dust storm using the unit tau, a measurement of the atmosphere's opacity. This led NASA to compare the situation on the red planet as similar to "an extremely smoggy day that blots out sunlight". Critically, the dust raised the atmospheric opacity in Perseverance Valley, and Opportunity's power levels dropped significantly by Wednesday, 6 June, requiring the rover to shift to minimal operations.

"It's not unlike running a auto in the winter so that the cold doesn't sap its battery charge", NASA writes in a release.

As epic as this storm is, it's still smaller than a 2007 storm that forced Opportunity to hunker down for two weeks. "They can crop up suddenly but last weeks, even months".

Opportunity, launched in 2003 as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program, has far exceeded scientists' expectations by operating for almost 15 years.

The main concern NASA has with this kind of tempest is that the rover's batteries will get too cold and it won't be able to function once the dust storm ends. The storm was spotted from space with the help of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as per NASA officials.

The good news is Opportunity made contact with NASA over the weekend to confirm that it's still operational. Opportunity is in its 15th year; the team has operated the rover for more than 50 times longer than originally planned. This produces more wind, which kicks up even more dust, creating a feedback loop.

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