MGS science results

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Information about MGS science results

Published on November 15, 2007

Author: Kiska


Rover Update:  Rover Update Both rovers are healthy Spirit is at the southern end of Home Plate, investigating at a rock named “Humboldt Peak” Starting to think about this year’s winter haven Opportunity is calibrating its cameras, and looking at the “Steno” layer Slide2:  Rocks at Southern End of Home Plate Humboldt_Peak Slide3:  Geographic Feature Names Fracture? Next Target ~120 m Slide4:  ? ? Lyell (née g) Steno (née a) Smith (née b) Layers renamed: Nicholas Steno (1638-1686) William Smith (1769-1839) Charles Lyell (1797-1875) Slide5:  Sol 1313 FHaz 2nd Steno target (behind) Steno Field Trip!:  Field Trip! In the Shadow of the Moon -- an oral history of the Apollo program “Just from the distance of the moon, you can hide the Earth behind your thumb, everything that you have ever known; your loved ones, your business, the problems of the Earth itself, all behind your thumb. It makes you consider how insignificant we really are.“ -- James Lovell Voted best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival Playing at Cinemapolis until October 18th From last time…:  From last time… Martian year: 687 days (669 sols) The heliopause is around 100-200 AU from the sun Voyager I has passed the termination shock, where the solar wind speed drops from supersonic to subsonic; Voyager II is seeing the first signs of the shock. They should get to the heliopause in 10-20 years Before the heliopause: most particles are electrons and protons ISM: most particles are hydrogen and helium atoms Reference: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Science Results:  Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Science Results Astro 280 October 10, 2007 Mission Overview:  Mission Overview Launched on November 7, 1996 Arrived on September 11, 1997 Aerobraked until March 9, 1999 Communication ended in November 2006 Highlights:  Highlights First spacecraft to use aerobraking to circularize its orbit around Mars Operated longer than any other spacecraft at Mars Sent more than 240,000 images back to Earth Observed annual weather cycles Produced a global topographical map of Mars Found evidence of the mineral hematite Found evidence of an ancient magnetic field Found evidence of modern-day sudden erosion Instrument Overview:  Instrument Overview Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) Magnetometer/Electron Reflectometer (MAG/ER) Ultrastable Oscillator for Radio Science experiments Mars Relay MOC:  MOC First high-resolution camera in Mars orbit (up to 1.5 m per pixel) Found evidence of ancient river deltas, layered sediments, and geologically young gullies Compiled a global mosaic (7.5 km/pixel) every 24 hours Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS Evidence of Ancient Water/Sediment Flow:  Evidence of Ancient Water/Sediment Flow Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS New Gullies!:  New Gullies! A gully appeared in Terra Sirenum between December 2001 (left) and April 2005 (right) Might be due to water, but not necessarily Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems Other cool pictures:  Other cool pictures Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS Earth Mars Odyssey “Hearts” and Rippled Fog:  “Hearts” and Rippled Fog From Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS From Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS The “Face” on Mars:  The “Face” on Mars From Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS Surface Features:  Surface Features From Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS From From Rover Tracks!:  Rover Tracks! From Image credit: NASA/JPL/M SSS MOLA:  MOLA First high-resolution global topographical map of Mars Used a 1.064 m (IR) laser pulse 1° spatial resolution (~59 km at equator), 13 m accuracy Also measured albedo and ice clouds Image credit: MOLA Science Team N S Slide21: Image credit: MOLA Science Team MOLA Results:  MOLA Results The south pole is about 6 km higher than the north pole! The surface of the southern hemisphere is rougher than the northern “lowlands” Hellas basin is the deepest place on Mars -- 9km from crater rim to bottom The polar caps contain at most enough water to cover Mars about 22-33 m deep (less than people thought) TES:  TES Used IR spectroscopy to map the minerals on the martian surface Continuously monitored the atmosphere for several martian years Discovered hematite in Meridiani Planum From Image credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University TES Results:  TES Results Most of the martian surface is made up of igneous rocks, which are as diverse as Earth’s Mars has minerals that (on Earth) only form in water When the atmosphere gets dusty, water-ice clouds disappear for months The polar caps are water-ice, seasonally covered by CO2 MAG/ER:  MAG/ER Compiled a global map of the magnetic fields in the martian crust, with a sensitivity of 10 nT (Earth’s magnetic field is about 5 x 10-5 T = 50,000 nT) Mitchell et al., Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol.112, E01002, doi:10.1029/2005JE002564 , 09 January 2007 MAG/ER Results:  MAG/ER Results Mars does not currently have a global magnetic field It used to: the older areas of the surface exhibit “magnetic anomalies” The magnetic field flipped like Earth’s does, but either it flipped less often or the surface spread faster (or both) The magnetic field (mostly) disappeared before the surface of the northern plains formed Radio Science:  Radio Science Monitored atmospheric temperature and pressure variations for several martian years Used Doppler shifts to precisely measure the gravitational field Image credit: MGS RS and MOLA Science Teams Mars Weather Maps:  Mars Weather Maps

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