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      • Contactplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigContact

        If you have a burning desire to contact me, use the discussion form below. Anything you say remains private between you and me.
      • Cookie Policy & GDPRplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCookie Policy & GDPR

        There are NO tracking cookies on this site!

        The Cookie policy is straightforward. This site only uses cookies that are required to make your experience of using this site better, and only uses session cookies (see exceptions below). Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
      • Daily Mars Weather Reportsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDaily Mars Weather Reports

        These reports are provided by NASA's InSight lander in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia.

        This page updates when it is refreshed. Daily readings are usually a couple of days behind reality (it takes time for the lander to transmit its data back to Earth).
      • Downloadsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDownloads

        Orbital Calculator Current Version This is a portable application, meaning there is no installer. Just unzip into a folder and run the executable. Since it is portable, it can be run from a USB stick.

        A full description and a list of the features are available
      • Rules on Reviewingplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigRules on Reviewing

        First off, you should know I only have a limited amount of time, so I can't review a hundred novels at once. Sorry, but that's basic physics for you. If I agree to review your novel, you may have to wait a while for me to get around to it, and then I'll need time to read it. I only review hard copies.
        • A Keen Interest In Marsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigA Keen Interest In Mars

          [MOLA globe of Mars]You may have noticed from pages such as the Mars Weather Report page, that I have a keen interest in Mars, Martian weather, and the InSight lander.

          Mars itself, and the incredible science we are doing there is of course a fascination in and of itself. However, my interest goes deeper than that. My latest novel (at the time this article was written - March 2019) is about the exploration of Mars. NASA have provided a wealth of data and information for …
        • A New Siteplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigA New Site

          Yup, the old site was as ugly as sin and to find a blog entry you had to scroll through the feed or take your chances with the search option.

          This new site is just as easy to maintain, has extensive search capabilities, and both orders and structures the entries. Not only does this make it easier for you to find stuff, it encourages you to browse around. It's not as ugly either.
        • How do I Calculate Distance from Period?plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigHow do I Calculate Distance from Period?

          I've been asked how Orbital Calculator can calculate the distance an object is from a gravitational mass, using just its period (the time it takes to complete an orbit). The technique is relatively simple, so I'll explain it.
        • Martian Spring Weirdnessplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMartian Spring Weirdness

          [Mars (northern hemisphere)]Spring in the northern hemisphere of Mars is odd to say the least. The further the season moves away from winter, the warmer we should expect things to get, but this is not the case. It gets colder. By examining why, we can see why Earth is pretty much a special case, and begin to be able to predict weather patterns on other planets.
        • NASA Boarding Passplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigNASA Boarding Pass

          I took the plunge and got my NASA boarding pass for the Mars 2020 Rover mission.

          [NASA Boarding pass for Mars 2020 Mission]

          Get yours here: NASA Website SEND YOUR NAME TO MARS
        • NASA Receives 2 Emmy Awardsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigNASA Receives 2 Emmy Awards

          NASA recently won (14th-15th Sept 2019) two Emmy's for interactive content. Aside from the obvious achievements of winning the awards, there is something else going on here that should be recognised and encouraged. Awards, of course, are intended to recognise, encourage and promote excellence, but I'm talking about NASA not only reaching out to the public, but interactively engaging them.
        • Orbital Calculator v1.0.0.5 Updateplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator v1.0.0.5 Update

          You can now calculate distance from a gravitational mass using the orbital period. The image above shows a calculation for Mars which has a 687 day year.

          I've allowed the use of tokens to identify time components to make it easy to use. The examples shown in the image should explain how it works.
        • Orbital Shenanigansplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Shenanigans

          [MOLA map of Mars coloured by elevation]

          Edited: 2019-03-14

          Sometimes when you do some research – actually, quite often – you find out some really interesting stuff and end up changing your mind. In my story, I had some people on the ground on Mars, and wanted a spacecraft in a geostationary orbit above them to give them communications between them at all times. Just for info, when talking about geostationary orbits, the accepted term for Mars is aerostationary. I’ll use g…
        • Mars Solar Conjunctionplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMars Solar Conjunction

          This page is currently inactive for 2019 conjunction (until next conjunction in 2021)

          Mars is heading for a solar conjunction, which in layman's terms means it's on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth. For a short period, no commands will be sent to the Mars spacecraft (which includes landers and rovers) since the sun's corona could corrupt those commands and result in unintended actions, disablement of the spacecraft or worse.
        • Orbital Calculator 2.0.3 Releaseplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator 2.0.3 Release

          This is a minor enhancement to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the Two-Body calculations.

          The “Two-Body” calculations try to take into consideration the effects of other bodies in the system, with a fallback to simple Newtonian/Keplerian mechanics. Deciding when to use the fallback algorithms and when not to is difficult, but the new code reflects statistical probability, which in turn increases accuracy.
        • Orbital Calculator for Linuxplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator for Linux

          The portable version for Linux has been released and is now available on the Downloads page. There are also instructions and sample files to setup a desktop icon/launcher in case you want that too.

          The application comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit variations.
        • Orbital Calculator v2.0.2.2634 Releasedplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator v2.0.2.2634 Released

          [Mars] A bugfix and a new function has been added. Details are on the Release Notes page.

          In addition, an import file is also available on the Downloads page that contains 669 exoplanets with confirmed size and mass, culled from a NASA archive.
        • Real-time Martian Clockplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigReal-time Martian Clock

          I had a momentary lapse last night - or was it inspiration? Anyway, I've added a real-time clock that shows the current time on Mars using the Martian clock (the seconds are a bit longer) for the location of the InSight lander.
        • This Article Has Movedplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigThis Article Has Moved

          This article has moved to Self-Publishing Traps
          • SmartSuitplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigSmartSuit

            SmartSuit: A Hybrid, Intelligent, and Highly Mobile EVA Spacesuit for Next Generation Exploration Missions

            Developer: Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

            I think the title says it all, but just in case it wasn't crystal clear, this is what they have to say about it:
          • THE MOST Space Telescopeplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigTHE MOST Space Telescope

            Few telescopes can honestly say they've reinvented the concept, yet THE MOST certainly has. It works on a surprisingly old principle, by passing light through two prisms. As Isaac Newton demonstrated, this first splits light into its constituent components, then recombines it back again.
        • Dragonfly to Explore Titanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDragonfly to Explore Titan

          Credits: NASA/JHU-APL Few worlds excite exoplanetary chemists like Titan, Saturn's enigmatic and largest moon. It is the second-largest moon in the solar system, and the only one known to have a dense atmosphere. As such, it is seen as an analogue to the early Earth, and therefore important in understanding how life might have evolved on our homeworld.
        • How Big Is The Universe?plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigHow Big Is The Universe?

          [Hubble deep Field Image]

          I recently came across a youtube video explaining a method for multiplication that was quite different from long multiplication. To explain why this was so interesting, let’s first talk about long multiplication and what’s wrong with it, and then we'll calculate the size of the visible universe in centimeters.
        • Landing the Mars 2020 Rover Safelyplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigLanding the Mars 2020 Rover Safely

          Autonomous landings are always fraught with danger. One of the most dangerous terrains any landing might occur on is a boulder field. Not only would the impact of the landing on these hard objects be a threat, but the boulders are likely to be jagged too. Another threat are the steep cliffs of the crater - not falling off them (although that's a possibility), but crashing into them.
        • Magnetic Field Lines on a Galactic Scaleplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMagnetic Field Lines on a Galactic Scale

          [Powerful magnetic fields are visible]

          The Cigar galaxy (M82) is already famous for the speed at which it creates new stars. The composite image shows the powerful magnetic field lines on a truly epic scale, wrapping around the entire galaxy. NASA's SOFIA observatory (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy - a converted Boeing 747) has shed light on what is happening.
        • Mysterious Starplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMysterious Star

          Back in 2016, Tabetha Boyajian gave a TED talk about a star with nifty little name KIC 8462852. The Kepler space telescope had studied it and lots of other stars over the course of four years, but this one stood out.

          Also known as Tabby's Star, it is a main-sequence F-type star located in the constellation Cygnus, about 1,480 light-years from Earth. Its claim to fame of course, is that it was suggested that alien megastructures would explain the weird data that Kepler had recor…
        • NASA Got it Wrong - Oops!plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigNASA Got it Wrong - Oops!

          It's not every day you get the chance to tell NASA they screwed up.

          I was reviewing the data I'd collected from NASA's Mars Weather page, and I noticed that the graphs they generated didn't match the summary data.

          For example, the summary data for Sol 169 shows the maximum temperature peaking at -17.6°C, while the graph for the same day showed the temperature never rising above -25°C.
        • To the Moon and Marsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigTo the Moon and Mars

          [The Moon - watch out, here we come (again)!]NASA has outlined an aggressive timetable for an equally aggressive return to the Moon, with a view to making the Moon a waystation for trips to Mars. This requires the development of a whole slew of new technologies, as well as ramping up existing technologies and capabilities to whole new levels.
        • Calculate your Age and Weight on the Planetsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCalculate your Age and Weight on the Planets

          This little calculator allows you to calculate how old you would be on each of the planets in the solar system, and what your weight would be. If you have weight issues, don't look at the result for Jupiter!
        • DLCounter Pluginplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDLCounter Plugin

          [screenshot]

          This download-counter plugin for DokuWiki enables you to keep track of the number of downloads of media files such as zip, gzip, tarballs and pdf's (your choice of media formats). This plugin has been developed and tested on “Greebo
        • DLCounter Plugin Bugtrackerplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDLCounter Plugin Bugtracker

          If you have any issues with the plugin, leave a comment here.
        • Orbital Calculatorplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator

          Orbital Calculator is the result of satisfying a need. There are online calculators for working out the orbital characteristics for satellites and spacecraft orbiting Earth, and they’re pretty cool gadgets as far as that goes, but quite limiting.
        • Orbital Calculator 2.0 Releasedplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator 2.0 Released

          It's been a while in coming but it's finally here, with a packed feature list. It has increased precision and is generally a lot easier to use.

          You can now perform two-body orbital calculations, so the masses of both a star and planet (or planet and moon) are taken into consideration. Time dilation can now be calculated either as a function of the speed of light or (in a much more mundane and realistic way) from an orbit. Orbital time-dilation takes into conside…
        • Orbital Calculator v2.x Release Notesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator v2.x Release Notes

          This lists the important notes on each new release, explaining what has changed and what's new.

          See the Downloads page to download Orbital Calculator for various platforms. A full description of the product is available on the
        • Surface Gravity Calculatorplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigSurface Gravity Calculator

          Want to know what the surface gravity is on any celestial object? You just need to know it's mass in terms of Earth masses (e.g. Earth = 1, Venus = 0.815, Mars = 0.107 etc.) and it's radius. This calculator will do the rest.
      • Description or Teaser?plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDescription or Teaser?

        When you write the blurb that goes on the back of the book, should you write a description or a teaser? This article explores that question, explaining why each of them work and what their effects are, and why sometimes one is a better choice than the other.
      • Proper Paragraph Spacing and Indenting on Web Pagesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigProper Paragraph Spacing and Indenting on Web Pages

        This is a short article on how to setup the correct CSS in order to replicate the paragraph spacing and indenting displayed in a book on your web pages. It will also enlarge and embolden the first character in the scene.
      • Self-Publishing Trapsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigSelf-Publishing Traps

        Sometimes it's a while before I post a new book review. Usually this is because I've read some self-published novels that I don't want to review. When I post a review, I'm telling readers about a book I'd recommend. This is good for readers, and it's good for the authors who get the recommendation. I'm not out to harm someone's writing career - which can always be turned around in the future - and I'm certainly not the sort of pompous umm, donkey, that simply lets my mouth…
      • Smart but Dumb Aliensplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigSmart but Dumb Aliens

        We all know the problem, especially from video games and movies, where the super-smart aliens turn out to be really dumb. This is usually because the creator hasn't put much thought into it.

        So, you're creating a super-intelligent alien or species or civilisation for your short story or novel or whatever. How do you avoid the pitfalls of dumbing them down?
      • Story Structure (Hero's Journey)plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigStory Structure (Hero's Journey)

        The Hero's Journey is an overlay for the 4-part story structure. See how they work in conjunction with the character arc.

        ----------

        Click on this image to review it, then click it again to see it full size

        You might also want to investigate these structures:
      • Voices in the Darkplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigVoices in the Dark

        A scene that is all dialogue and no action creates the dreaded “voices in the dark”. Perhaps they're at a conference table, or standing around talking things through before making a decision that will propel the story into its next phase.
          • Beyond Falcon's Reachplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigBeyond Falcon's Reach

            Beyond Falcon's Reach by Jay Northearn, is a mish-mash of high fantasy, gothic-horror, steampunk and electropunk, with a dash of semi-intelligent machine-learning AI's thrown-in to boot. Yet for all of this, the world Northearn has created is homogenous and holistic - two watchwords I'll bang on about until the cows come home, to anyone who'll listen. Giving everything in your world a place and a reason for being there is something that every writer should always keep in m…
          • Creation Machineplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCreation Machine

            Andrew Bannister’s “Creation Machine” is the best novel I’ve read this year – and that’s saying something, I’ve read some of the best sci-fi novels from the last five years in the last ten months.

            The breadth and depth of his imagination is incredible. He’s created an entire artificial galaxy, given it character and taken us on a tour that is as exciting as it is varied.
          • Iron Godsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigIron Gods

            Another novel of The Spin, and following on from Creation Machine, Iron Gods continues in much the same vein. There are intriguing and plausible characters, a spaceship AI that has had its lobotomy reversed, strange worlds and even stranger economic forces.
          • Stone Clockplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigStone Clock

            The third outing in The Spin series from acclaimed author Andrew Bannister, Stone Clock, has a dark edge to it. Already an accomplished writer, Bannister has taken things up a notch.

            His usual mélange of lucid and slightly demented imagination is in full force, and the array of modes of humour are all present and permeate the pages as if they’d been dipped in the stuff.
blog:aardvaark:mars_weather

Daily Mars Weather Reports

These reports are provided by NASA's InSight lander in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia.
This page updates when it is refreshed. Daily readings are usually a couple of days behind reality (it takes time for the lander to transmit its data back to Earth).

If the image doesn't display, please wait. The NASA websites sometimes get busy.

Explanation of the Wind Speed Chart
Wind speed is shown in meters per second, as measured by the pair of TWINS booms. The barbs extending from each wind speed data point indicate the compass direction of the wind (e.g., a wind blowing from the north will have a barb straight up above the point; a wind blowing from the west will have a barb off to the left). Full and half flags extending from the barbs indicate the wind speed, with each half flag representing approximately 2.5 meters per second. A circle in place of a barb indicates a wind speed less than 2.5 meters per second.

Full details can be seen at https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/
Images Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/CAB

:!: Note: There is a discrepancy between the summary data and the charts provided by NASA (good on you if you spotted this - if not, go hunt the thimble!). I've notified them and hopefully they'll do something about it.

Wind Speed

To put wind speed in perspective, the dust on Mars is talcum-powder fine. It requires a wind speed of 64kph (~40mph) to pick it up. 64kph equates to approximately 17.78m/s. The air is incredibly thin, just 0.06% the density of Earth's atmosphere at sea level, so it takes a high wind speed to generate enough Newtons to pick even these tiny particles up.

Typical air pressure on Earth is around 1000mb = 1bar = 100,000 pascals.

Martian Day

The Martian day is 39 mins 53 secs longer than a standard day. This means that approx every 36.1 days the Earth date skips a day while the Martian Sol marches on as normal. You can see this in the data below. April 16th 2019 seems to be missing, yet the Sols on April 15th and April 17th are consecutive.

Historical Data


Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
Oct. 14, 2019 314 -24.8° C -74° C -102.8° C 19.7 4.9 0.2 SSE 731.7 715.9 695.7
Oct. 13, 2019 313 -27.2° C -68.7° C -101.4° C 22.5 4.9 0.2 SSE 732.6 715 696.6
Oct. 12, 2019 312 -26° C -74.5° C -100.4° C 19.5 4.8 0.2 SSW 732.1 718.3 697.9
Oct. 11, 2019 311 -26.4° C -71.9° C -100.8° C 19.1 4.8 0.2 SSW 732.3 717.3 697.7
Oct. 10, 2019 310 -26.6° C -69.6° C -102.2° C 19.1 5 0.1 SSE 735.3 719.3 700.6
Oct. 9, 2019 309 -26.2° C -65.9° C -102.3° C 18.9 5 0.2 SSE 735.4 718 702.5
Oct. 8, 2019 308 -25.6° C -70.7° C -102.1° C 18.1 4.7 0.2 SSE 737.1 721.2 703.3
Oct. 7, 2019 307 -26.8° C -75.4° C -102° C 18.4 4.2 0.2 SSW 739.7 724.2 704.6
Oct. 6, 2019 306 -25.7° C -72.7° C -102.7° C 17.1 4.4 0.1 SSE 740.8 721.5 706.1
Oct. 5, 2019 305 -27.3° C -71.2° C -104.1° C 22.2 5 0.1 SSE 738.4 722.5 708.7
Oct. 4, 2019 304 -25.9° C -69° C -104.3° C 18.2 4.8 0.1 SSE 741.4 724.6 707.9
Oct. 3, 2019 303 -26.5° C -67.1° C -103.9° C 19.1 4.9 0.1 SSE 741.7 724.2 711.3
Oct. 2, 2019 302 -25.3° C -69° C -102° C 20.2 4.8 0.2 SSE 741.8 727.1 710.8
Oct. 1, 2019 301 -26.4° C -69.7° C -103.9° C 17.9 4.6 0.1 SE 743.1 727.9 711.7

Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
Sep. 30, 2019 300 -25.6° C -68.9° C -103.2° C 22 5.1 0.1 SSE 745 729.3 711.3
Sep. 29, 2019 299 -27.7° C -69.9° C -101.3° C 17.3 4.7 0.2 SSE 746.3 730.3 712.9
Sep. 28, 2019 298 -26.8° C -75.6° C -104.1° C 17.9 4.1 0.1 SW 746.7 733.2 713.2
Sep. 27, 2019 297 -26.1° C -71.1° C -103.7° C 18 4.6 0.1 SSE 748.6 732 713.2
Sep. 26, 2019 296 -26.4° C -63.3° C -102.9° C 18.2 4.8 0.1 SE 748.7 730 715.3
Sep. 25, 2019 295 -26.6° C -69.7° C -102.1° C 22.6 5.4 0.1 SE 751.2 733.9 716.2
Sep. 24, 2019 294 -24.8° C -65° C -100.4° C 17.1 4.6 0.2 SSE 751.5 732.5 716.4
Sep. 23, 2019 293 -26.4° C -61.6° C -102° C 19.1 5 0.2 SSE 753.5 738.2 718.2
Sep. 22, 2019 292 -26.4° C -68.8° C -101.2° C 16.6 4.6 0.2 SE 753.6 739.3 718.9
Sep. 21, 2019 291 -26.5° C -76.1° C -103.4° C 17.2 4.2 0.1 W 752.7 739.2 718.7
Sep. 20, 2019 290 -26.1° C -67.5° C -102.1° C 17.5 4.6 0.1 SE 757.4 738.7 718.2
Sep. 19, 2019 289 -27.3° C -73.4° C -102.8° C 17.4 4.2 0.1 SW 757.1 742.1 721.2
Sep. 18, 2019 288 -26.3° C -73.7° C -102.3° C 17.7 4.3 0.2 SW 756.4 742.1 720.5
Sep. 17, 2019 287 -26° C -67° C -102.8° C 16.8 4.3 0.1 SSW 758 741.8 723.7
Sep. 16, 2019 286 -26.5° C -61.9° C -101.2° C 16.9 4.7 0.2 SE 759.1 742.2 724.5
Sep. 15, 2019 285 -27.1° C -72.1° C -100.8° C 21.3 4.3 0.2 SSW 757.9 742 723.2

Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
Aug. 28, 2019 268 -27.1° C -69.9° C -99.6° C 15.9 4.6 0.2 SSE 769.4 749.6 733.8
Aug. 27, 2019 267 -27.5° C -69.1° C -101.5° C - - - n/a 771 752.9 735.1
Aug. 25, 2019 265 -26.3° C -65.2° C -99.4° C 16.1 5.3 0.2 SSE 774.1 754.6 733.4
Aug. 24, 2019 264 -26.7° C -75.8° C -101° C 17.4 4.1 0.2 SW 775.3 759.3 738.4
Aug. 23, 2019 263 -27.2° C -74.6° C -100.9° C 18.3 3.8 0.2 SW 776.4 760.1 738.4
Aug. 22, 2019 262 -26.4° C -75.5° C -101.3° C 15.8 4.2 0.1 SSE 776.7 760.9 740.1
Aug. 21, 2019 261 -26.6° C -78° C -102.4° C 16 4.8 0.2 SW 778.9 764.4 738.6
Aug. 20, 2019 260 -28.6° C -75.9° C -101.7° C - - - n/a 777.8 762.5 741.1
Aug. 19, 2019 259 -27.1° C -71.2° C -101° C 17.6 4.4 0.2 SSW 780.4 761 742.1
Aug. 18, 2019 258 -26.2° C -65.5° C -100° C 16.8 4.7 0.2 SSE 779 759 741.6
Aug. 17, 2019 257 -26.5° C -69.3° C -100.2° C 17.1 4.4 0.2 SSE 780.1 761 741.4
Aug. 16, 2019 256 -25.6° C -70° C -101.7° C 17.9 4.2 0.1 SW 780.1 760.2 741.7
Aug. 15, 2019 255 -24.7° C -69.3° C -100.1° C 17.3 4.5 0.2 SSW 780.5 762.5 744.1
Aug. 14, 2019 254 -25.9° C -62.8° C -99.3° C 18.1 4.9 0.2 SE 781.6 758.3 739.2
Aug. 13, 2019 253 -25.5° C -69.5° C -100° C 16.4 4.5 0.2 SSE 780.9 762.4 744
Aug. 12, 2019 252 -26° C -73.7° C -100.8° C 18.3 4.2 0.1 SSW 781.6 763.6 744.4
Aug. 11, 2019 251 -26.5° C -69.4° C -101° C 17.5 4.2 0.2 SSE 781.4 762.3 743
Aug. 10, 2019 250 -26.2° C -72° C -100° C 16.2 4.3 0.2 SSE 781.2 762.3 743.7
Aug. 9, 2019 249 -26° C -69.1° C -98.8° C 17.5 4.3 0.2 SSE 781.1 762.3 744.3
Aug. 8, 2019 248 -25.8° C -71.2° C -99.6° C 16.7 4.5 0.2 SSE 781.2 763.2 743.7
Aug. 7, 2019 247 -26.5° C -68.9° C -100.4° C 16.8 4.6 0.2 SSE 779.4 761.3 743.4
Aug. 5, 2019 246 -26.5° C -64.9° C -99.4° C 18.1 5.3 0.2 SSE - - -
Aug. 4, 2019 245 -25.6° C -68.8° C -99.9° C 17.7 4.6 0.2 SSE 780.2 761.5 742.9
Aug. 3, 2019 244 -27.1° C -70.2° C -100.3° C 15.9 4.4 0.2 SSE 783.1 763.5 742.9
Aug. 2, 2019 243 -25.9° C -69.3° C -99.8° C 17.1 4.5 0.2 SSE 782 763.2 743.4
Aug. 1, 2019 242 -26.1° C -69.1° C -99.1° C 17.1 4.7 0.2 SW 781.5 763.2 743.9

July 31, 2019 241 -26.2° C -68.5° C -100.5° C 16.2 4.6 0.1 SSE 782.3 763.5 743.8
July 30, 2019 240 -25° C -68.6° C -98.5° C 15.8 4.5 0.2 SW 781.9 763.4 743.5
July 29, 2019 239 -25.7° C -68.3° C -98° C 20.4 5.3 0.2 SW 782.9 763.8 743.3
July 23, 2019 233 -25.7° C -68.4° C -98.8° C 16.2 4.6 0.2 SE 780.8 764.3 744.1
July 20, 2019 230 -26.1° C -68.3° C -99.3° C 15.2 4 0.2 SE 781.8 764.5 744.1
July 19, 2019 229 -24.7° C -68.2° C -99.2° C 14.8 4 0.2 SW 782 763.9 743.4
July 18, 2019 228 -25° C -68.8° C -98.7° C 14.5 4.2 0.2 SSE 782.5 764.7 742.3
July 17, 2019 227 -25.4° C -68.6° C -100° C 15 4.2 0.2 SE 781.9 764.7 742.1
July 16, 2019 226 -25.9° C -68.3° C -98° C 14.8 4.1 0.2 SSW 782.2 764.5 740.7
July 15, 2019 225 -25° C -68.2° C -98.3° C 15 4.2 0.2 SE 782.6 764.6 741.3
July 14, 2019 224 -25.8° C -69.4° C -100.8° C 14.8 4.2 0.1 SSE 782.9 764.8 741.4
July 13, 2019 223 -25.5° C -69.1° C -100.8° C 17.4 4.3 0.2 SE 781.5 764.2 740.8
July 12, 2019 222 -24.8° C -68.9° C -99.7° C 15.6 4.2 0.2 SSE 781.1 764 739.8
July 11, 2019 221 -23.8° C -69.7° C -99.4° C 14.1 4.1 0.2 SSE 780.3 763.6 739.1
July 10, 2019 220 -25.9° C -70.4° C -101.2° C 16 4 0.2 SSE 780.4 763.7 738.5
July 9, 2019 219 -24.9° C -68.8° C -100.3° C 16.1 4.5 0.2 SE 782.6 764.9 739.9
July 8, 2019 218 -26.1° C -69.2° C -100.2° C 16 4.6 0.2 SE 779.7 764.2 741.2
July 6, 2019 216 -24.9° C -65.4° C -102.5° C 15.8 4.6 0.1 SSE 780.2 762 739.3
July 5, 2019 215 -25° C -69° C -101.7° C 14.6 4.2 0.1 SSE 781.7 764.1 740.3
July 4, 2019 214 -24.7° C -68.9° C -101.2° C 14.5 4.2 0.2 SSE 779.7 762.7 738.2
July 3, 2019 213 -25.2° C -69° C -102.1° C 15.1 4 0.1 WSW 779.3 761.6 736.4
July 2, 2019 212 -24.2° C -64.9° C -102.1° C 15.7 4.3 0.1 SSE 781.4 761.5 737.2
July 1, 2019 211 -24.3° C -68.5° C -101° C 15.4 4.3 0.1 SSW 782.7 762.9 738.1

Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
June 29, 2019 210 -25.4° C -68.6° C -101° C 15.6 4.4 0.1 SE 781.6 762.4 737.4
June 28, 2019 209 -23.7° C -69° C -103° C 15.5 4.3 0.1 SSE 778.3 761.1 737.6
June 27, 2019 208 -23.7° C -68.7° C -102.3° C 15.4 4.3 0.1 SSE 777.5 761.6 739.5
June 26, 2019 207 -25° C -69.2° C -103.9° C 15.8 4.3 0.1 SE 778 762.9 740.2
June 25, 2019 206 -25.3° C -65.4° C -103.5° C 15.6 4.8 0.1 SE 775.4 760.1 740.1
June 24, 2019 205 -24.9° C -69.6° C -103.9° C 15.9 4.3 0.1 SSE 775.3 760.6 739
June 23, 2019 204 -25.3° C -69.7° C -104.1° C 15.3 4.3 0.1 W 775.8 761.4 739.7
June 22, 2019 203 -25.7° C -72.9° C -104° C 14.6 4 0.1 SSE 775.8 761.9 739.4
June 21, 2019 202 -24.4° C -69.6° C -103.3° C 15.4 4.4 0.1 SSE 775.1 760.2 739.2
June 20, 2019 201 -24° C -69.7° C -103.3° C 16.1 4.2 0.1 SSE 775.3 759.7 738.1
June 19, 2019 200 -24.6° C -70.1° C -104.3° C 15.6 4.2 0.1 SSE 777.3 760.2 738.2
June 18, 2019 199 -23.2° C -70.5° C -104.7° C 14.9 4.1 0.1 W 775.2 759.8 737.4
June 17, 2019 198 -24.7° C -70° C -104.8° C 15.5 4 0.1 SSE 774.5 758.3 735.6
June 16, 2019 197 -23.3° C -69.7° C -105.2° C 15.9 4.1 0.1 SSE 775.2 758.1 735.9
June 15, 2019 196 -22.3° C -70° C -105.3° C 15.9 4.4 0.1 W 775.6 759.1 737.5
June 14, 2019 195 -23.8° C -69.9° C -105.6° C 14.5 4.3 0.1 SSE 776.9 759.5 738.3
June 13, 2019 194 -23.5° C -69.5° C -104.4° C 17 4.5 0.1 SSE 774.1 757.3 738.1
June 12, 2019 193 -23° C -69.6° C -103.7° C 35.1 9.8 0.3 SSE 774.8 757.2 737.3
June 11, 2019 192 -23.6° C -65.9° C -104.9° C 15.4 5 0.1 SSE 775.2 758.9 739.6
June 10, 2019 191 -21.6° C -69.6° C -104.9° C 15.2 4.4 0.1 SSE 775.2 758.7 740.4
June 9, 2019 190 -22.5° C -69.3° C -104.1° C 16.6 5.2 0.2 SSE 772.5 757.4 739.5
June 8, 2019 189 -22.4° C -69.4° C -102.2° C 16.5 4.7 0.2 SSE 773.6 756.6 738.9
June 7, 2019 188 -21.9° C -65.2° C -102.5° C 15.6 4.8 0.1 SSE 772.4 757.3 738
June 6, 2019 187 -21.9° C -68.6° C -102.8° C 16.1 4.4 0.2 SSE 774.6 757.4 735.4
June 5, 2019 186 -21.8° C -68.4° C -101.7° C 16.2 4.6 0.2 SSE 772.1 755.9 733.5
June 4, 2019 185 -21.2° C -68.4° C -100.7° C 15.3 4.5 0.2 W 771.7 755.1 732.3
June 3, 2019 184 -22.1° C -68.7° C -101.3° C 15.2 4.5 0.2 W 771.8 755.3 730.9
June 2, 2019 183 -22.3° C -63° C -101.1° C 15.2 4.9 0.2 SSE 773.3 757.1 731.2
June 1, 2019 182 -22.6° C -51.3° C -99.7° C 15.9 5.7 0.2 SSE 772.4 753.9 730.7

Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
May 31, 2019 181 -20.7° C -63.8° C -100.6° C 14.9 5.1 0.2 SW 770.2 753 729.8
May 30, 2019 180 -21.8° C -64.3° C -101.1° C 14.7 4.7 0.2 S 769.8 752.4 729.1
May 29, 2019 179 -21.5° C -63.9° C -101° C 14.5 4.8 0.2 SW 772.4 754.5 729.9
May 28, 2019 178 -23° C -64° C -101.1° C 15 4.9 0.2 SW 771.3 752.2 728.6
May 27, 2019 177 -21.3° C -63.7° C -100.7° C 17.1 4.8 0.2 SW 769 751.8 727.5
May 26, 2019 176 -19.9° C -68° C -100.3° C 15.9 4.2 0.2 W 770.2 751.6 727.1
May 25, 2019 175 Data not provided
May 23, 2019 174 -21.3° C -67.6° C -101.1° C 16.3 4.3 0.2 SW 770.2 751.7 728.2
May 22, 2019 173 -20.9° C -63.7° C -100.9° C 14.1 4.9 0.2 SW 769.2 751.1 726.2
May 22, 2019 172 -20° C -65° C -133.5° C - - - n/a 769.5 749.6 726.8
May 20, 2019 171 -20.9° C -63.7° C -100.5° C 14.8 4.9 0.2 SW 769.6 751.7 727.7
May 19, 2019 170 -21.2° C -63.4° C -100.9° C 14.6 4.7 0.2 SW 767.1 749.4 726.8
May 18, 2019 169 -17.6° C -67.8° C -100.6° C 15.5 4.6 0.2 S 768 748.9 724.9
May 17, 2019 168 -19.6° C -63.6° C -100.5° C 12.6 4.6 0.2 SW 768.1 745.7 724.6
May 16, 2019 167 -20.4° C -65.1° C -100.5° C 13.5 4.7 0.5 SW 769.2 751.8 724.7
May 15, 2019 166 -20.5° C -63.8° C -100.5° C 11.7 4.6 0.2 SSE 769.2 749.2 725.6
May 14, 2019 165 -18.2° C -65.7° C -100.3° C 13.7 4.6 0.6 SW 767.8 750.5 725.7
May 13, 2019 164 -16.6° C -63.8° C -100° C 15.1 4.4 0.2 SW 766.4 747.6 725
May 12, 2019 163 -17.7° C -64.2° C -99.9° C 15.2 4.3 0.3 SW 766.2 746.7 724.8
May 11, 2019 162 -20.3° C -67.9° C -100.2° C 14.3 4.1 0.2 WNW 766.3 747 724.9
May 10, 2019 161 -19.5° C -67.5° C -98.6° C 15.2 4.2 0.2 W 765.2 746.1 722.8
May 9, 2019 160 -19.4° C -63.7° C -99.5° C 13.5 4.6 0.2 SSE 765 745.1 721.2
May 8, 2019 159 -21.6° C -67.9° C -100.3° C 15.3 4.2 0.2 W 765.4 744.7 720
May 7, 2019 158 -21.8° C -64.8° C -99.7° C 13.6 4.8 0.8 SSE 765.4 746.2 719.8
May 6, 2019 157 -18.4° C -67.4° C -100.2° C 14.6 4.1 0.2 W 764.9 743.5 719.5
May 5, 2019 156 -18.1° C -63.5° C -99.2° C 13.8 4.7 0.2 SW 763.6 743.5 719.7
May 4, 2019 155 -18.8° C -63.4° C -99.3° C 14.3 4.5 0.2 SW 762.8 742 720.7
May 3, 2019 154 -17.2° C -63.5° C -97.6° C 13.1 4.5 0.2 SW 763 743.3 719.9
May 2, 2019 153 -17.5° C -63.5° C -98.5° C - - - n/a 762.2 743.1 719.7
May 1, 2019 152 -17.2° C -63.3° C -98.1° C 13.2 4.8 0.2 SW 760.8 741.9 717.8

Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
Apr. 30, 2019 151 -17.5° C -67.1° C -97.1° C 12.3 4.1 0.2 W 761.6 741.2 717.9
Apr. 29, 2019 150 -20.4° C -63.8° C -98.5° C 14.4 4.6 0.3 SW 760.8 741.1 717.6
Apr. 28, 2019 149 -19.5° C -63.4° C -98.8° C 14.2 4.6 0.2 SW 760 739 716.1
Apr. 27, 2019 148 -18.2° C -67.1° C -99.1° C 14.3 4.2 0.2 W 761.1 739.1 714.7
Apr. 26, 2019 147 -23.5° C -74.7° C -98.4° C 11.7 3.7 0.2 W 762 740.8 714.7
Apr. 25, 2019 146 -17.7° C -64.6° C -98.6° C 11.6 4.8 0.5 SW 761.2 741.3 714.9
Apr. 24, 2019 145 -19.3° C -65.1° C -98.1° C 11.6 4.4 0.2 SW 762.1 739.3 716
Apr. 23, 2019 144 -17.6° C -64.4° C -98.7° C 11.1 4.2 0.2 SW 760 737.5 714.5
Apr. 22, 2019 143 -19.8° C -63.3° C -98° C 12.1 4.6 0.2 SW 758.9 736.4 713.2
Apr. 21, 2019 142 -18.4° C -66.8° C -97.5° C 14.8 4.2 0.2 W 758.3 735.9 712.3
Apr. 20, 2019 141 -19.7° C -64° C -98.3° C 12.9 4.7 0.5 SW 758.8 737.1 712.6
Apr. 19, 2019 140 -18° C -69.2° C -98.6° C 14.2 4 0.2 W 758.8 735.2 712.2
Apr. 18, 2019 139 -18.1° C -62.9° C -97.6° C 12.2 4.7 0.3 SW 757.5 734.1 708.9
Apr. 17, 2019 138 -17.3° C -65.5° C -97.7° C 12.6 4.3 0.2 W 756.8 733.6 709.2
Apr. 15, 2019 137 -15.9° C -64.7° C -97° C 12.4 4.3 0.2 SW 754.6 732.7 709
Apr. 14, 2019 136 -16.5° C -65.9° C -97.3° C 10.8 4.3 0.3 WNW 754.4 732.4 708.5
Apr. 13, 2019 135 -16.6° C -65.8° C -96.5° C 11.3 4.2 0.2 SW 754.2 732.8 709.7
Apr. 12, 2019 134 -18.2° C -62.5° C -98.4° C - - - n/a 755.7 731.1 708.4
Apr. 11, 2019 133 -15.7° C -65.8° C -96.8° C 11.7 4.2 0.2 W 754.2 731.3 706.8
Apr. 10, 2019 132 -16.3° C -65.9° C -97.7° C 12.2 4.3 0.2 SW 752.8 730.8 706.9
Apr. 9, 2019 131 -15.6° C -66° C -98.2° C 11.6 4.1 0.2 WNW 752.9 731.1 707.3
Apr. 8, 2019 130 -15.5° C -65.8° C -98° C 11.7 4.1 0.2 SW 752.4 731.2 707.7
Apr. 7, 2019 129 -16.7° C -65.9° C -97.7° C 11.9 4.1 0.2 SW 752.2 730.2 707
Apr. 6, 2019 128 -15.5° C -65.3° C -97.5° C 13.6 4.1 0.2 SW 750.6 719.1 707.4
Apr. 5, 2019 127 -16.8° C -65.5° C -96.6° C 11.2 4.2 0.3 SW 751.4 730.3 707.5
Apr. 4, 2019 126 -17° C -65.1° C -97° C 10.7 4 0.2 SW 750.5 730.2 707.5
Apr. 3, 2019 125 -16.8° C -65.5° C -97.2° C 11.7 4 0.2 SW 749.8 729.4 706.2
Apr. 2, 2019 124 -16.7° C -65.9° C -97.9° C 11.8 4 0.2 SW 750.3 728.6 705.6

Time Air Temperature (°C) Wind Speed (m/s) Pressure (Pa)
Date Sol Max Avg Min Max Avg Min Direction Max Avg Min
Mar. 28, 2019 119 -15° C -60.9° C -97.4° C 10.1 4.3 0.2 SW 750.3 728.2 704.5
Mar. 24, 2019 115 -15.5° C -61.6° C -96° C - - - n/a 750.7 725.5 700.6
Mar. 23, 2019 114 -15.5° C -65° C -96.8° C - - - n/a 749.2 725.5 700.9
Mar. 22, 2019 113 -15.3° C -64.6° C -96.7° C - - - n/a 748.7 724 700.4
Mar. 17, 2019 108 -14.4° C -50.3° C -96.1° C 13.1 5.2 0.3 SW 750.4 724.8 697.5
Mar. 16, 2019 107 -15.8° C -64.6° C -96.1° C 10.4 4.1 0.2 SW 749.4 723.5 697.7
Mar. 15, 2019 106 -15.9° C -64.5° C -96.3° C 12.4 4.1 0.2 WNW 751.2 724.9 698.5
Mar. 14, 2019 105 -14.7° C -64.3° C -95.7° C 12.1 4 0.2 SW 748.5 724.7 698.4
Mar. 13, 2019 104 -14.4° C -64.1° C -96.1° C 11.1 4.2 0.2 WNW 748 723.7 697.1
Mar. 12, 2019 103 -19.1° C -61.1° C -95.8° C 14 4.9 0.2 WNW 748.6 724.2 697.3
Mar. 11, 2019 102 -17° C -64.2° C -96.8° C 12.7 4.6 0.4 SW 749.4 725.2 697.4

Temperature Over Time

At the moment, the chart below is capable of displaying all the historical data (and even shows the gaps where I failed to collect any). After about 2 years the data will require sub-pixel metrics. That gives me enough time to figure out how I'm going to handle that. Incidentally, the graph can cope with a full Martian year of 686.97 days, so I'll probably resort to displaying the full Martian year and allow you to choose the start or end dates to display.

Vertical lines indicate:
SE (spring equinox), SS (summer solstice), AE (autumn equinox), WS (winter solstice)
AP (aphelion - furthest distance from the sun), PE (perihelion - closest approach to the sun)
MSC (Mars Solar Conjunction - Earth and Mars on opposite sides of the Sun)

Current Time in Elysium

The lander is in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia, approximately 135°E 4.5°N. The Martian day - or sol - is 24hrs 39mins 53secs long. For convenience, Martian clocks keep a 24hr time, requiring the Martian second to be a little longer than it is on Earth (approx 1.0275 secs).

These clocks reflect the local times at the prime meridian and InSight's location and keep Martian time (using its extended seconds). InSight was intended to land at 135.974°E, but actually landed at 135.6234°E. The InSight Clock uses the actual landing site, while the Mission Clock (used by the mission team) uses the intended landing site.

MSD is the Martian equivalent of a Julian date, and this refers to the number of sols since Dec 29th 1873. For obvious reasons, this keeps Martian time. Note: if you use the Mars24 program, you may note the MSD displayed in that program differs slightly from this one. It seems Mars24 rounds the numbers, so when MSD reaches a 0.005 precision boundary, it rounds up. The same might also be true of the MJD.

MJD is the Modified Julian Date. This ignores the first 2,400,000 days in the standard Julian date, and moves the starting point to midnight (from midday). This is further modified to reflect the coordinated universal time for spacecraft, which is some 5hrs 45m adrift of UTC.

Since MSD uses Martian time and MJD uses universal time, you'll see them slide in and out of synchronicity.

There are several Martian Calendars in use. NASA uses MSD, but the year/month calculations in the above clocks use the calendar proposed by R. Todd Clancy (Clancy et al., Journal of Geophys. Res 105, p 9553, 2000), whereby the Calendar begins at midnight on the morning of April 11th 1955 (when Ls = 0) and with the first year being year 1.

Martian years are approx. 686 days long, equating to roughly 668 sols. Sols are counted from the start of the year because of the huge variance in the length of Martian months. Martian months vary in duration from 46 to 67 sols.

Martian months are calculated based on the number of degrees Mars is around its orbit (each month being 30°). This means most months end partway through the day. In order to ensure a month consists of whole days, the calculation employed here rounds down to the nearest whole number. Therefore, if the end of the month occurs on sol 68.2, all of sol 68 occurs in the last day of the month. This is a convenience, and there is no formal convention on how to handle this. Other calculators may begin a month on any day where the month begins, so in the above example, sol 68 may be the first sol in the new month.

If you are wondering why the sols on the clocks don't match the sols in the weather reports, the weather reports refer to mission time, rather than the start of the Martian year. Besides being a convenient way to track mission duration, it guarantees two data points in different years have unique sol counts.

In addition, the weather report in the graphic at the top of the page is usually a few days in arrears. The Sol counter in the mission clock reports the current mission date.

Current Location of Mars

no data

no data

Earth and Mars will next be at closest approach to each other ~October 12th 2020[2]

[1] the calculation is based on data from the Planetary Society, and divides the Martian year using the equinoxes and solstices. Further, it uses UTC to perform the calculations rather than Airy Mean Time (AMT), so is only an approximation to provide a rough guide. AMT is the Martian equivalent of GMT. The Martian year is 686.97 standard days (668.6 sols), approximately 1.88 years.

[2] Calculation is based on data from Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Current positions of Earth and Mars Image courtesy of https://in-the-sky.org and © Dominic Ford

This image is updated once per week. A daily update is available on the Mars Solar Conjunctionsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMars Solar Conjunction

This page is currently inactive for 2019 conjunction (until next conjunction in 2021)

Mars is heading for a solar conjunction, which in layman's terms means it's on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth. For a short period, no commands will be sent to the Mars spacecraft (which includes landers and rovers) since the sun's corona could corrupt those commands and result in unintended actions, disablement of the spacecraft or worse.
page when such events are active.

You can check the position of Mars vs the Sun and Earth for any date here: https://in-the-sky.org/solarsystem.php?obj=P4

See Also

Martian Spring Weirdnessplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMartian Spring Weirdness

[Mars (northern hemisphere)]Spring in the northern hemisphere of Mars is odd to say the least. The further the season moves away from winter, the warmer we should expect things to get, but this is not the case. It gets colder. By examining why, we can see why Earth is pretty much a special case, and begin to be able to predict weather patterns on other planets.
, Orbital Shenanigansplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Shenanigans

[MOLA map of Mars coloured by elevation]

Edited: 2019-03-14

Sometimes when you do some research – actually, quite often – you find out some really interesting stuff and end up changing your mind. In my story, I had some people on the ground on Mars, and wanted a spacecraft in a geostationary orbit above them to give them communications between them at all times. Just for info, when talking about geostationary orbits, the accepted term for Mars is aerostationary. I’ll use g…
, Mars Solar Conjunctionsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMars Solar Conjunction

This page is currently inactive for 2019 conjunction (until next conjunction in 2021)

Mars is heading for a solar conjunction, which in layman's terms means it's on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth. For a short period, no commands will be sent to the Mars spacecraft (which includes landers and rovers) since the sun's corona could corrupt those commands and result in unintended actions, disablement of the spacecraft or worse.

This website uses cookies to improve the user experience. By using the website, you agree with storing the cookies on your computer. More information

Discussion

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blog/aardvaark/mars_weather.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/16 08:50 by Phil Ide

  • Mars Weatherplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDaily Mars Weather Reports

    These reports are provided by NASA's InSight lander in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia.

    This page updates when it is refreshed. Daily readings are usually a couple of days behind reality (it takes time for the lander to transmit its data back to Earth).
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    Orbital Calculator is the result of satisfying a need. There are online calculators for working out the orbital characteristics for satellites and spacecraft orbiting Earth, and they’re pretty cool gadgets as far as that goes, but quite limiting.
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