Overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, during Phoenix's 57th Martian day, or sol, since landing, Phoenix used its robotic arm to scrape the top of the hard layer in the trench informally named "Snow White."
The Phoenix team prepared commands to send to the spacecraft Wednesday telling it to take color stereo images minutes after each of five more rounds of scraping during Sol 58.
"We are monitoring changes between the scrapes," said Doug Ming of NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, the team's science lead for Sol 58 plans. "It appears that there is fairly rapid sublimation of some of the ice after scraping exposes fresh material, leaving a thin layer of soil particles that had been mixed with the ice. There's a color change from darker to bluer to redder. We want to characterize that on Sol 58 to know what to expect when we scrape just before collecting the next sample."
Within a few sols, the team plans to collect a sample from the hard layer of Snow White for delivery to one of the eight ovens of Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA). Doors to the oven have been opened to receive the sample.
The TEGA completed one checkout during Sol 57. Another preparation step by the instrument, a heater characterization, is planned for Sol 58, to verify that pressure sensors can be warmed enough to operate properly early in the Mars morning.
"For the next sample, we will be operating the instrument earlier in the morning than we have before," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for TEGA. "It will be almost the coldest part of the day, because we want to collect the sample cold and deliver it cold."
On the day when Phoenix will deliver the next sample to TEGA, the team plans to have lander activities begin about three hours earlier than the usual start time of about 9 a.m. local solar time.
One set of imaging commands developed for use on Sol 58 or soon afterwards will check a northwestern portion of the horizon repeatedly during early afternoon to see whether any dust devils can be seen. This will be the first systematic check by Phoenix for dust devils. Similar imaging sequences have observed dust devils near NASA's Mars Rover Spirit, south of Mars' equator.
Students from Boulder Creek High School, Anthem, Ariz., worked with Phoenix team members to plan the first monitoring for dust devils by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager. They and students from SciTech High School, San Diego, are interns at the Phoenix mission's Science Operations Center in Tucson this week, part of a series of internship visits from 12 schools this summer by schools in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona with project management at JPL and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Max Planck Institute, Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. For more about Phoenix, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/phoenix and http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu.
Lori Stiles | University of Arizona
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University
Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences