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Sökning: WFRF:(Vasavada Ashwin R.)

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1.
  • Hamilton, Victoria E., et al. (författare)
  • Observations and preliminary science results from the first 100 sols of MSL Rover Environmental Monitoring Station ground temperature sensor measurements at Gale Crater
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Journal of Geophysical Research. - 0148-0227 .- 2156-2202. ; 119:4, s. 745-770
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We describe preliminary results from the first 100 sols of ground temperature measurements along the Mars Science Laboratory's traverse from Bradbury Landing to Rocknest in Gale. The ground temperature data show long-term increases in mean temperature that are consistent with seasonal evolution. Deviations from expected temperature trends within the diurnal cycle are observed and may be attributed to rover and environmental effects. Fits to measured diurnal temperature amplitudes using a thermal model suggest that the observed surfaces have thermal inertias in the range of 265-375?J m-2 K-1 s-1/2, which are within the range of values determined from orbital measurements and are consistent with the inertias predicted from the observed particle sizes on the uppermost surface near the rover. Ground temperatures at Gale Crater appear to warm earlier and cool later than predicted by the model, suggesting that there are multiple unaccounted for physical conditions or processes in our models. Where the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) descent engines removed a mobile layer of dust and fine sediments from over rockier material, the diurnal temperature profile is closer to that expected for a homogeneous surface, suggesting that the mobile materials on the uppermost surface may be partially responsible for the mismatch between observed temperatures and those predicted for materials having a single thermal inertia. Models of local stratigraphy also implicate thermophysical heterogeneity at the uppermost surface as a potential contributor to the observed diurnal temperature cycle. Key Points Diurnal ground temperatures vary with location Diurnal temperature curves are not well matched by a homogeneous thermal model GTS data are consistent with a varied stratigraphy and thermophysical properties.
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2.
  • Moores, John E., et al. (författare)
  • Atmospheric movies acquired at the Mars Science Laboratory landing site : Cloud Morphology, Frequency and Significance to the Gale Crater Water Cycle and Phoenix Mission Results
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Advances in Space Research. - 0273-1177 .- 1879-1948. ; 55:9, s. 2217-2238
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We report on the first 360 sols (LS 150° to 5°), representing just over half a Martian year, of atmospheric monitoring movies acquired using the NavCam imager from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover Curiosity. Such movies reveal faint clouds that are difficult to discern in single images. The data set acquired was divided into two different classifications depending upon the orientation and intent of the observation. Up to sol 360, 73 Zenith Movies and 79 Supra-Horizon Movies have been acquired and time-variable features could be discerned in 25 of each. The data set from MSL is compared to similar observations made by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) onboard the Phoenix Lander and suggests a much drier environment at Gale Crater (4.6°S) during this season than was observed in Green Valley (68.2°N) as would be expected based on latitude and the global water cycle. The optical depth of the variable component of clouds seen in images with features are up to 0.047 ± 0.009 with a granularity to the features observed which averages 3.8 degrees. MCS also observes clouds during the same period of comparable optical depth at 30 and 50 km that would suggest a cloud spacing of 2.0 to 3.3 km. Multiple motions visible in atmospheric movies support the presence of two distinct layers of clouds. At Gale Crater, these clouds are likely caused by atmospheric waves given the regular spacing of features observed in many Zenith movies and decreased spacing towards the horizon in sunset movies consistent with clouds forming at a constant elevation. Reanalysis of Phoenix data in the light of the NavCam equatorial dataset suggests that clouds may have been more frequent in the earlier portion of the Phoenix mission than was previously thought.
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3.
  • Moores, John E., et al. (författare)
  • Observational evidence of a suppressed planetary boundary layer in northern Gale Crater, Mars as seen by the Navcam instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Icarus (New York, N.Y. 1962). - 0019-1035 .- 1090-2643. ; 249, s. 129-142
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The Navigation Cameras (Navcam) of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, have been used to examine two aspects of the planetary boundary layer: vertical dust distribution and dust devil frequency. The vertical distribution of dust may be obtained by using observations of the distant crater rim to derive a line-of-sight optical depth within Gale Crater and comparing this optical depth to column optical depths obtained using Mastcam observations of the solar disc. The line of sight method consistently produces lower extinctions within the crater compared to the bulk atmosphere. This suggests a relatively stable atmosphere in which dust may settle out leaving the air within the crater clearer than air above and explains the correlation in observed column opacity between the floor of Gale Crater and the higher elevation Meridiani Planum. In the case of dust devils, despite an extensive campaign only one optically thick vortex (τ=1.5±0.5×10-3) was observed compared to 149 pressure events > 0.5Pa observed in REMS pressure data. Correcting for temporal coverage by REMS and geographic coverage by Navcam still suggests 104 vortices should have been viewable, suggesting that most vortices are dustless. Additionally, the most intense pressure excursions observed on other landing sites (pressure drop >2.5Pa) are lacking from the observations by the REMS instrument. Taken together, these observations are consistent with pre-landing circulation modeling of the crater showing a suppressed, shallow boundary layer. They are further consistent with geological observations of dust that suggests the northern portion of the crater is a sink for dust in the current era.
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4.
  • Navarro‐González, Rafael, et al. (författare)
  • Abiotic Input of Fixed Nitrogen by Bolide Impacts to Gale Crater During the Hesperian : Insights From the Mars Science Laboratory
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets. - : John Wiley & Sons. - 2169-9097 .- 2169-9100. ; 124:1, s. 94-113
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Molecular hydrogen (H2) from volcanic emissions is suggested to warm the Martian surface when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels dropped from the Noachian (4100 to 3700 Myr) to the Hesperian (3700 to 3000 Myr). Its presence is expected to shift the conversion of molecular nitrogen (N2) into different forms of fixed nitrogen (N). Here we present experimental data and theoretical calculations that investigate the efficiency of nitrogen fixation by bolide impacts in CO2‐N2 atmospheres with or without H2. Surprisingly, nitric oxide (NO) was produced more efficiently in 20% H2 in spite of being a reducing agent and not likely to increase the rate of nitrogen oxidation. Nevertheless, its presence led to a faster cooling of the shock wave raising the freeze‐out temperature of NO resulting in an enhanced yield. We estimate that the nitrogen fixation rate by bolide impacts varied from 7 × 10−4 to 2 × 10−3 g N·Myr−1·cm−2 and could imply fluvial concentration to explain the nitrogen (1.4 ± 0.7 g N·Myr−1·cm−2) detected as nitrite (NO2−) and nitrate (NO3−) by Curiosity at Yellowknife Bay. One possible explanation is that the nitrogen detected in the lacustrine sediments at Gale was deposited entirely on the crater's surface and was subsequently dissolved and transported by superficial and ground waters to the lake during favorable wet climatic conditions. The nitrogen content sharply decreases in younger sediments of the Murray formation suggesting a decline of H2 in the atmosphere and the rise of oxidizing conditions causing a shortage in the supply to putative microbial life.
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5.
  • Webster, Christopher R., et al. (författare)
  • Background levels of methane in Mars' atmosphere show strong seasonal variations
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Science. - : American Association for the Advancement of Science. - 0036-8075 .- 1095-9203. ; 360:6393, s. 1093-1096
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Variable levels of methane in the martian atmosphere have eluded explanation partly because the measurements are not repeatable in time or location. We report in situ measurements at Gale crater made over a 5-year period by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity rover. The background levels of methane have a mean value 0.41 ± 0.16 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) (95% confidence interval) and exhibit a strong, repeatable seasonal variation (0.24 to 0.65 ppbv). This variation is greater than that predicted from either ultraviolet degradation of impact-delivered organics on the surface or from the annual surface pressure cycle. The large seasonal variation in the background and occurrences of higher temporary spikes (~7 ppbv) are consistent with small localized sources of methane released from martian surface or subsurface reservoirs.
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6.
  • Gõmez-Elvira, Javier, et al. (författare)
  • Curiosity's rover environmental monitoring station : Overview of the first 100 sols
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets. - 2169-9097 .- 2169-9100. ; 119:7, s. 1680-1688
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • In the first 100 Martian solar days (sols) of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) measured the seasonally evolving diurnal cycles of ultraviolet radiation, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, ground temperature, relative humidity, and wind within Gale Crater on Mars. As an introduction to several REMS-based articles in this issue, we provide an overview of the design and performance of the REMS sensors and discuss our approach to mitigating some of the difficulties we encountered following landing, including the loss of one of the two wind sensors. We discuss the REMS data set in the context of other Mars Science Laboratory instruments and observations and describe how an enhanced observing strategy greatly increased the amount of REMS data returned in the first 100 sols, providing complete coverage of the diurnal cycle every 4 to 6 sols. Finally, we provide a brief overview of key science results from the first 100 sols. We found Gale to be very dry, never reaching saturation relative humidities, subject to larger diurnal surface pressure variations than seen by any previous lander on Mars, air temperatures consistent with model predictions and abundant short timescale variability, and surface temperatures responsive to changes in surface properties and suggestive of subsurface layering. Key Points Introduction to the REMS results on MSL mission Overiview of the sensor information Overview of operational constraints
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