The Eclipse of the Sun cooled the surface of Mars

InSight were able to determine the drop surface temperature during eclipses.

Затемнення Сонця охолодило поверхню Марса

Automatic station InSight, working on the surface of Mars, were able for the first time to observe a radiometer Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos and to determine the drop surface temperature during these periods. This was reported in the blog on the DLR website, informs Rus.Media.

The launch of the new auto research mission InSight was held in may 2018. Its main objective is the study of the internal structure of Mars and the geological processes occurring in the subsoil. Landing on the planet’s surface occurred on 26 November 2018 in the highlands area Elysium. After landing, the station has successfully deployed a solar panel and transmitted to Earth images that have made it clear that she sat in a small, covered with sand and dust, impact crater, slightly tilted to the side.

In mid-December last year on the surface of Mars pulled the SEIS seismograph, which soon was covered with windproof and insulating cap. In February 2019, on the surface of the planet dropped the second scientific instrument of the mission – HP3 designed to measure heat flow in the Martian soil. In early February, began its full-fledged functioning of the APSS system that collects data about the weather conditions.

In the first half of March station InSight were able to see three eclipses of the Sun one of the moons of Mars – Phobos. A lunar Eclipse can last around thirty seconds. Despite the short duration of such events radiometer showed a drop in surface temperature by about one degree Celsius, and the onboard cameras were able to see a decrease of illumination of the surroundings of the station during the Eclipse. These data will be useful in the study of geophysical parameters of the upper surface layer of Mars.

As for the tool HP3, which had earlier suspended its work, the mission team there are two main versions of what happened. One of them is that the drill collided with a large fragment of rock, and just hit it, more expanding the hole. According to another hypothesis, the rear part of the drill snagged on the substructure at a meeting with a small stone that now held him inclination of about 15 degrees relative to the vertical axis. Analysis of collected data and development of plan to address this problem are ongoing.