Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
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NASA 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.

There was a similar problem with wind speed. The graph showed wind speed always below 7 m/s, yet the summary data showed wind speed consistently significantly above that for as far back as March (barring the holes in my data). Sol 169, for example, has maximum wind speed at 15.5 m/s.

To put this in perspective, when wind reaches 64 km/h it is strong enough to pick up dust and move it around - a dust storm. 64 km/h evaluates to 17.78 m/s.

Now as far as the wind is concerned, it could well be that gusts set the maximum, yet the graphs smoothed that out. The graphs have 1 plot point per hour, and that plot point is probably an average for that period.

It is unlikely the same could be said for air temperature.

I'll update this post when (if) I get a response from NASA.

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blog/articles/science/nasa_oops.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/21 01:37 by Phil Ide

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