A weekly discussion of what’s new and interesting in astronomy with Dr. Derrick Pitts

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NASA’s InSight Mars lander keeps daily records of weather conditions at the Elysium Planitia landing site on the red planet. Last week saw daytime highs from 8 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit; lows fell to -139 degrees.
Seasons are twice as long on Mars as on Earth because the Martian year is 687 days; almost double an Earth year.

Mars doesn’t have months like we have months though. Our concept is based on a lunar orbit. Mars’ moons orbit much faster – Phobos every 8 hours, Deimos every 30 hours; so well over 2,000 orbits per 30 day ‘month’ for Phobos and over 500 orbits per ‘month’ for Deimos.

InSight landed Nov. 2018 on a two-year mission to better understand the interior of Mars using both surface and drilling geophysical sensors.

Turning to night sky highlights this week:
Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have the morning sky at 6:00 a.m.; Venus has the evening at 6:00 p.m. We’re gaining 2.5 minutes of sunlight per day through March.

Vorherige Folgen

  • 312 - Cold Snap Up North 
    Sat, 29 Feb 2020 - 0h
  • 311 - Older than Dirt 
    Sat, 22 Feb 2020 - 0h
  • 310 - Taking a Telescope to Galileo 
    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 - 0h
  • 309 - Coming Attractions 
    Sat, 08 Feb 2020 - 0h
  • 308 - 49ers, Chiefs & Punxsutawney Phil 
    Sat, 01 Feb 2020 - 0h
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