Get the weather on Mars daily, courtesy of new Nasa lander

James Marshall
February 20, 2019

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - And now for the weather on Mars: NASA's newest lander is offering daily reports on the red planet's frigid winter. Beginning Tuesday, InSight will provide a daily weather report everyone can see. Brrr. You can also check out wind speeds and air pressure data for each day.

On Sunday - the latest available date - the highest temperature on Mars was a brisk minus 17C, and the lowest reached minus 95C.

So if it's cold where you live, rest assured that your temperature swings aren't as rough as what InSight has to bear.

InSight has something that other missions to the Martian surface didn't.

Thanks to a package of sensors dubbed the Auxiliary Payload System (APSS), InSight will give more weather updates than any previous mission to the Red Planet. They're 10 times more sensitive than the ones used on the Viking and Pathfinder landers.

Inside the lander is an air pressure sensor, and the deck carries two wind and temperature sensors. "Mars has familiar atmospheric phenomena that are still quite different than those on Earth".

NASA said InSight is created to collect and send back these daily weather reports for the next two years, so that scientists can study seasonal changes. Scientists need to know the local Mars weather to determine if InSight's seismometer is registering real earthquakes on Mars (also known as marsquakes) or simply wind or pressure changes.

InSight is also equipped with the first magnetometer to be placed on the surface of another planet. While they give the public a fun peek into Mars' weather, they'll let NASA study seasonal changes and dust devil activity.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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