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Mars Lander Instrument Waving In the Martian Wind

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the more-proof-of-fraud dept.

Mars 46

Matt_dk writes "This series of images show Phoenix's telltale instrument waving in the Martian wind. Documenting the telltale's movement helps mission scientists and engineers determine what the wind is like on Mars. On the day these images were taken, one of the images seemed to be 'out-of-phase' with other images, possibly indicating a dust devil occurrence."

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[...]one of the images seemed to be "out-of-phase" (3, Funny)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 6 years ago | (#25403727)

What they are witnessing is the Flying Spaghetti Monster manipulating the results.

A new candidate (0)

Deadstick (535032) | about 6 years ago | (#25403743)

...for the Slashdot Straight-Line Hall of Fame.

rj

Re:A new candidate (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 years ago | (#25408439)

...for the Slashdot Straight-Line Hall of Fame.

I was thinking the same thing ... cue "instrument waving in wind" jokes.

LOL

World's fastest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25403757)

slashdotting... Geez people, get real hosting....

Great choice of words. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25403767)

Insert joke here about my "telltale instrument" waiving in the wind.

Re:Great choice of words. (4, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | about 6 years ago | (#25403947)

See that's why girls don't come here....

Sheesh. Insensitive....

Re:Great choice of words. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25404093)

What's wrong with having long hair?

Re:Great choice of words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25404133)

Gross!

"Instrument" . . . (2, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | about 6 years ago | (#25406183)

. . . so that's what the kids are calling it these days.

I got in big trouble for waving my instrument in the wind.

Of course, with a string bass, swinging it on a dead calm day would be just as bad.

Re:"Instrument" . . . (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | about 6 years ago | (#25409843)

I waved my baritone sax in the wind, and the final butchers bill was three clarinettists, two flautists, an oboe player and a cello player who happened to be leaning back at the time.

Still, the orchestra sounded sweeter after the incident...

Proof (3, Funny)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 6 years ago | (#25403779)

"On the day these images were taken, one of the images seemed to be "out-of-phase" with other images, possibly indicating a dust devil occurrence"

OR... it's proof that these martian landings are staged and never really occurred in the first place!

Re:Proof (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | about 6 years ago | (#25404923)

Soundstage on the moon?

Faked landings. (0, Flamebait)

w0mprat (1317953) | about 6 years ago | (#25403789)

Everyone knows there is no wind in space so teh picture must be faked, proof they filming in desert in nevada!

Also more proof.. human footprint! http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/phoenixsfoot.jpg [physorg.com]

Re:Faked landings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25403919)

Yeah we know, but how did they get one of those Hollywood wind machines all the way to the set in Nevada? That's just mindblowing!

Any audio from Mars? (3, Interesting)

pongo000 (97357) | about 6 years ago | (#25403801)

Just curious...no need to mod this up, I have plenty of karma.

Re:Any audio from Mars? (1, Interesting)

sveard (1076275) | about 6 years ago | (#25404125)

Maybe I'm missing something, but why is parent modded Trol?

Being able to hear the wind blow on another world would be SO cool, even though probably rather useless.

Re:Any audio from Mars? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25404149)

Because he is trolling for karma. Everyone knows the best way to be modded up is to say "I'm probably going to be modded down but..." or "I don't care if you mod me..."

Re:Any audio from Mars? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25404653)

He shouldn't get modded *down*, just not modded up... Its a genuine question that does not disrupt the comment session... Just my 2 cents anyway

Re:Any audio from Mars? (1)

Kattspya (994189) | about 6 years ago | (#25410377)

Posting to undo moderation. I was aiming for +n troll but some bastard had to mod you interesting.

Re:Any audio from Mars? (2, Interesting)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 6 years ago | (#25408031)

Maybe next time they send a probe to Mars, they will put a directional wind vane and an anemometer on board. A dangling wire just doesn't do it. Only shows a wind is present.

Audio there would most likely sound the same as wind here, so nothing new.

Re:Any audio from Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25408365)

"Audio there would most likely sound the same as wind here, so nothing new."

You've never read Bradbury, have you.

Re:Any audio from Mars? (2, Interesting)

pongo000 (97357) | about 6 years ago | (#25410603)

I would suggest a spectrum analysis of the audio received from wind noise would be quite valuable, unless NASA happened to also pack along a Doppler radar unit. Instead of guessing if that really *was* a dust devil that passed by, an audio analysis would probably provide definitive proof.

Here's a panorama to provide some perspective (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25403821)

Phoenix lander on Mars [fotoausflug.de]

The telltale is a small weight dangling from a vertical boom. More sophisticated instruments would have weighed more, so they opted for this minimal weather instrument.

Late Breaking News from the Council (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | about 6 years ago | (#25403865)

The most Illustrious Council of Elders has decried this latest humiliation inflicted upon its noble citizens by the latest mechanical invader from the blue planet. K'breel, speaker for the Council, stressed that this most recent insult would not be taken lightly:

Gentle Citizens, today my gelsacs are engorged in anticipation of the impending demise of the mechanized monsters of the blue planet. One hundred and thirty six days have passed since their latest mechanical terror has landed, and this -- this futile mocking gesture, such a pale imitation of our species' noble and pendulous glory -- is all it has come up with. Citizens, the creatures from the blue planet are so weak that they can barely muster up the strength to mock us. Winter approaches, and with it, darkness. Rejoice, podmates, for our final final victory against their pathetic mocking contraptions shall come at last!

When a small group of younglings questioned whether the telltale waving of the enemy's instrument was perhaps due to a gust of wind, K'Breel ordered their gelsacs pierced on the spot.

Re:Late Breaking News from the Council (1)

LordAlced (1279598) | about 6 years ago | (#25408519)

I know I've read this before. On a Mars post as well.

Deja vu. But I distinctly remember the term "gelsacs" and something about them being pierced. Ah... I can't take it.

Re:Late Breaking News from the Council (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25408653)

Deja vu. But I distinctly remember the term "gelsacs" and something about them being pierced. Ah... I can't take it.

K'Breel is a /. meme going back at least as far as 2005 [slashdot.org] . Any Mars thread on Slashdot, and particularly, any thread referring to the activities of any Earth-based probe must have at least one post of this nature. Google "K'Breel", "gelsac", "Council of Elders", and so on.

The root of the meme is TripMaster Monkey [slashdot.org] , who spawned it, and he probably spawned it years before the 2005 post I found (yo, Trip, if you read this -- post a link to the first one!). But to cut a long story short, if he's not around to do it within the first 5 minutes of a Mars thread, it's basically incumbent upon the first slashdotter to recognize his absence, to fill in for him.

The meta-root of the meme is that Mars (being more massive than moons, comets, and the other sorts of things we've made soft landings on for the past 20-30 years) is a little more difficult to deal with, so the odds of any given spacecraft making it are understandably slimmer. Since it can't be our fault that our probes don't make it (we humans, for example, would never be so stupid as to use Imperial measurements instead of metric...), it's reasonable (in the gallows-humor sense of the word "reasonable") to presume there must be Martians shooting our probes down. And as long as we imagine a bunch of bewildered and hostile Martians, we may as well give them a voice. Hence, K'Breel.

Site slashdotted, here it is, click link for image (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25403927)

This series of images show Phoenix's telltale instrument waving in the Martian wind. Documenting the telltale's movement helps mission scientists and engineers determine what the wind is like on Mars.

On the day these images were taken, one of the images seemed to be "out-of-phase" with other images, possibly indicating a dust devil occurrence. Preliminary analysis of the images taken right before and after the passing of this possible dust devil indicates winds from the west at 7 meters per second. The image taken during the possible dust devil shows 11 meters per second wind from the south.

These images were taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) on the 136th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 12, 2008). Phoenix's telltale is part of the Canadian Space Agency's meteorological package on the lander.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University [nasa.gov]

Feel free to discuss this article in the forum... or chat...

Re:Site slashdotted, here it is, click link for im (1)

Intron (870560) | about 6 years ago | (#25404063)

NASA seems to have reinvented the weather rock [windycreek.com] for only $40 M.

With apologies to Bob Dylan (5, Funny)

zapakh (1256518) | about 6 years ago | (#25403957)

How many landers must we see touch down
Before you can send one that's manned?
Yes, and how many times must you scoop the soil
Before you get some in the pan?
Yes, and how many sols must the dust storms fly
Before there's ice on polar land?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Pardon the tangent..... (4, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 6 years ago | (#25404113)

As a carryover from a previous topic regarding the smell of space, I wonder if NASA is trying to determine the smell of the martian atmosphere.

While we have no humans in place to do the smelling, could samples be taken then sent back for "smell" analysis?

Previous topic( http://idle.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/10/16/1533239 [slashdot.org] )already touched on the importance of the smell of space, but what about Mars?

The fact that there is mass pushing that little flag around leads me to believe that there are also chemical components to provide smell "signatures".

Re:Pardon the tangent..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25404167)

Ewwww.....

idle.slashdot.org???? That's worse than a goatse troll.

Re:Pardon the tangent..... (4, Interesting)

thepotoo (829391) | about 6 years ago | (#25406175)

Atmosphere on Mars is 95% CO2, 3% N, 1.6% Ar + trace. I'd guess you can't smell the Ar (you can't smell .9% Ar on earth), and you can't smell Nitrogen, so that pretty much leaves us with the strongly acidic smell of CO2.

This is all based on conjecture, so things may changes in local areas, during various weather conditions, or if/when we get more accurate measurements from the surface.

Mars, atmosphere (3, Informative)

Haoie (1277294) | about 6 years ago | (#25404129)

Many seem to forget that Mars does possess an atmosphere. Therefore, has wind and other 'weather' phenomenon.

Just not anything we can breathe, mostly carbon dioxide.

Re:Mars, atmosphere (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 6 years ago | (#25404693)

It probably had a thicker atmosphere when its iron core was moving to create a magnetic shield from the solar wind. (like the earth)

Too bad we can't have a big tether like this (http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wtether.html) and connect one end to the now solid core (50KM below surface!). Then maybe a new a magnetic shield could be created.

Re:Mars, atmosphere (2, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | about 6 years ago | (#25404773)

Mars does possess an atmosphere

...and bloody little of it, less than 1/100 as dense as our atmosphere at the surface. A wind sufficient to move part of that instrument would be pretty stormy weather by Martian standards.

rj

Re:Mars, atmosphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25408585)

Even then, our atmosphere does contain 70% N, So the oxygen part of it is just .3. Now, if we can convert the CO2 to oxygen (somehow), we should be in good steed.

Refreshing (1)

inKubus (199753) | about 6 years ago | (#25404539)

This is quite refreshing for me. Usually NASA has something entirely different waving the wind.....

Another triumph for science.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25404907)

what happens to a site when it gets slashdotted.

Is this Life on Mars?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25405025)

So much for the wind. What the hell is this thing that landed on one of the instruments. Looks like something more than dust. There are three shots of this but nothing being said from the JPL folks as to what this thing is. Could this be remnants from some form of life.

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/images/gallery/lg_39618.jpg

Planetary Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25405479)

The Planetary Society paid to have a microphone installed on a Mars lander. Unfortunately, it was on one of the "unsuccessful" probes...

There Are Dust Devils On Mars!!! (1)

Illbay (700081) | about 6 years ago | (#25405725)

Oh, wait. Nevermind [wikipedia.org] .

Catholic Church Takes Interest In Mars (1)

chadenright (1344231) | about 6 years ago | (#25408269)

At least until it is explained to their top theologists that they should not declare war on the martian "Dust Devils" and that the lander did not, in fact send back a picture of the Virgin Mary.

Brilant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25408491)

I can see it now,

Lots of really smart rocket scientist types sitting in a room.

Working on the best way to figure out how to put a robot on mars.

Working on what to do when its there.

Struggling on how to figure out how to discover what the atmosphere is like with just a robot they managed to put on mars.

Then one stands up and says "Lets just hang a bit of string and then take lots of pictures of it!"

All nod.

Interesting instrument (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#25408697)

I had no idea a tampon could be use to measure the wind. Great idea though, it's light, large so it'll react to the least variation in wind and hangs from a string.

Re:Interesting instrument (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 years ago | (#25418251)

I had no idea a tampon could be use to measure the wind.

The professor is pretty innovative, although Ginger was bloody pissed.
       

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