Ch. 10 - Astro1010

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The Planet Mars
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Chapter 9
The Red Planet Mars
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Early observers did not have
photography and had to draw what
they saw.
Christian Huygens
(1659)
W. R. Dawes (1864
– 1865)
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Giovanni Schiaparelli
(1888)
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Percival Lowell
In the years from about
1890 to about 1910 Percival
Lowell became enamored
with the observations of
Schiapereli. Canali for him
were canals. He believed in
canals and the intelligent life
forms needed to dig them.
He spent many years talking
and writing about them.
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Dist from Sun=1.5+ or app. 1.6 AU (T-B)
Year = 1.88 Earth years
Sol (Mars day) = 24h 37 m
Axis inclination = 25+ deg
Dia = .533 Earth dia
Surface gravity = .38 Earth
Surface Temp = -140 deg C to 20 deg C
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Mars Facts
Comparison of the Atmospheres
of the Terrestrial Planets
Earth
N2 0.79
O2 0.20
Ar 0.01
CO2 0.0003
H2O ~ 0.02
Total 1.00
Venus
Mars
2
< 0.001
0.005
64
~ 0.01
90
3 x 10-4
10-7
2 x 10-4
0.009
~10-6
0.01
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The interior of Mars has
not been studied by
seismic waves. Surface
clues indicate that the
interior as shown is likely
correct. Over time the
interior has cooled and
vulcanism has ceased.
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Surface Features
The surface of Mars has been imaged and mapped at least as
thoroughly as the Earth.
No liquid water has been found although there is much
evidence that there has been standing and flowing water in
the past.
The Southern Hemisphere is somewhat higher in elevation
and covered with craters appearing much like The Moon.
The lower Northern Hemisphere is much more earthlike. It
has giant volcanoes and canyons.
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This topographical map of
the Tharsis Rise
shows giant
volcanoes, a
giant canyon,
apparent dry
river beds and a
dry ocean
Tharsis Bulge
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If this giant
volcano were on
Earth is would
stand three times
higher than
Mount Everest
and would
completely cover
the State of Utah
Olympus Mons
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An image of a dry
watershed
An image of a
dry river bed
A topographic map of the
mouth of a dry river
entering a dry ocean
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A canyon land
region called South
Candor
A panoramic view
of a rocky rolling
valley
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The North Polar Cap seems
to have water ice with
much dry ice covering it.
There is much information
in the apparent layers that
have accumulated over
eons.
The South Polar Cap seems to
have less water ice and less
layering.
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Mars
Today
Cold
Dry
Anciently
Warm
Wet
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Robots to Mars
From the Mariner Probes in the early
‘60s to the extremely successful
Phoenix Lander 2010 mankind has sent
variety of robot orbiters and landers to
prepare the way for a future manned
mission to the exotic Red Planet.
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Viking Program
Two Identical Systems
Orbiter
Lander
Mid 70’s
Search for Living Life
Chemical not biological
results
Red color is iron oxide
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A view from the
Viking 2 Lander
in summer and
winter. The
occasional frost
layer only lasts
until Sun up.
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The Mars Global Surveyor
took images in visible and
infrared of the entire
planet every day for one
full Mars year. Among its
discoveries was this of
recent gullies
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One of the trickiest parts
of the Mars Exploration is
actually getting the rovers
to Mars in working
condition.
Imagine trying to drop a
sophisticated robot about
11-12 stories without
breaking it (or even
dropping an ordinary DVD
player)
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When the Pathfinder lander
and the Sojourner rover
arrived in 1997 they began
the era of faster, cheaper
spacecraft. Sojourner can be
seen examining the rock
“Yogi”
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The next generation Rovers were
two, called the
Spirit and
Opportunity.
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Spirit’s landing place was similar to the Vikings’; this is a
360° panoramic view
Spirit View west from the Columbia Hills
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This is a view from Opportunity down into
Victoria Crater. It spent nearly a full Earth year
finding the best way down into the crater and
this is it. Opportunity has now left Victoria
Crater in search of another crater to explore.
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Here we see the robotic arm
at work. It cleans the rock,
examines it then analyses it
for elements.
This is the Instrument
complex with the RAT,
Imager and
Spectrographs
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Intrepid Geologists
Discoveries
–Layering as if by
water deposit
–Spherical pebbles
such as in a stream
–Rust (color) same as
the red iron oxide as in
Southern Utah
Adventures
- Stuck in sand dune
–Covered by dust in a
storm
–Uncovered by a whirl
wind
–Lived through a long
Mars winter
–Are still going strong
(four times as long as
expected)
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The Pheonix scooped up icy
dirt that gave off liquid water
when warmed.
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Spirit Sojourner
Cuiriosity
Each Rover has
become more
become bigger
and more
complex as we
have learned
how to build
them and use
them
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Mars Pathfinder (Success)
Mars Global Surveyor (Success)
Actively taking pictures and gathering data
Mars Polar Lander (Failed)
Mars Atmosphere Observer (Failed)
2001 Mars Odyssey
-arrived Oct 24. 2001
-gathering data today
Landers (Future)
-biology and geology Laboratory
-to gather rocks and return them to Earth
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Phobos (Fear) is the large
of the two. They are both
tiny and badly scarred by
impacts but Phobos looks
like it was nearly
shattered.
The Japonese are planning to
send a robot to pick up dirt
and rock samples from
Diemos (Terror) to return
them to Earth
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End of Chapter 10
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