Mars the anomalies The moon too., part II

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signalhill

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Yes I am hearing opinions from others. <br /><br />About this statement:<br /><br />"Certainly, the relative depth of the atmosphere would have a significant effect on the weather. "<br /><br /><br />What kind of an effect would you speculate this to resemble?
 
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signalhill

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<br />"Cyclonic Disturbances. Seen along the edge of the Polar caps during the Martian Spring or Fall."<br /><br />You are calling a cyclonic formation that encircles thousands upon thousands of square km on Mars, seen from space, a disturbance? Regardless, how would these be formed?<br /><br />"Lee Waves. A form of a "Gravity Wave," found in the lee of large obstacles on Mars."<br /><br />Please explain what you mean by Gravity Wave in this context.
 
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yevaud

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Well, there's the amount of Solar Insolation that is received by the planet.<br /><br />Consider the atmosphere as being a medium through which solar insolation must pass through, down to the surface and then back out to space. It's depth is an important factor in considering what happens (and how much) to that insolation (for example, Rayleigh Optical Depth).<br /><br />Next, you have to look at the Species (various gasses) the atmosphere is comprised of. Different species have different properties wrt (with respect to) that received insolation. Their proportion and/or presence/absence are highly important.<br /><br />Then there's the atmospheric pressure profile, from the surface all the way up to the TOA (Top Of the Atmosphere).<br /><br />And on and on. This is a very complicated field. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Sorry, I was posting when you were posting this, or I would have responded sooner.<br /><br />Those Cyclonic events are caused by surface heating (remember the 4 km surface Radiative Boundary Layer?), large amounts of suspended dust, coriolis forces, and mostly due to the annual melting/refreezing of the polar caps.<br /><br />A Lee wave is an oscillation within the atmosphere that can occur under several different circumstances; in this prominent case, that of in the lee of a large obstacle. They're a waveform, in the same way actual waves in the ocean are. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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signalhill

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Whad did you mean by gravity wave in context of meteorology?<br /><br />
 
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yevaud

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A Gravity Wave is a Meteorologic phenomenon. It is one of the several common atmospheric events seen on Mars. Nothing more than that. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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agent99

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Some interesting stuff you posted.<br /><br />Have you seen this?<br /><br />http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060828_mars_clouds.html<br /><br />"The European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express spacecraft found clouds that are between 50 and 62 miles (80 to 100 kilometers) above the red planet."<br /><br />That's higher than any found here on earth! Curious stuff that. I realise that they are noctalucent clouds...<br /><br />Then there's "The discovery suggests the upper layers of Mars' atmosphere can be denser than previously thought. That would be important to mission planners, who use the Martian atmosphere to "aerobrake" incoming spacecraft."<br /><br />Enormous!<br /><br />Then there's;<br /> http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/rover_update_041213.html<br /><br />Cirrus clouds anyone?<br /><br />http://a52.g.akamaitech.net/f/52/827/1d/www.space.com/images/h_opp_clouds_02.jpg<br /><br />"Opportunity, back on the Meridiani Planum, took pictures of wispy clouds that look strikingly like cirrus clouds on Earth.<br /><br />"This is just a totally spectacular image," said NASA rover scientist Michael Wolff as he presented the first image. And upon unveiling the second: "I can't get enough of these.<br />Wolff said the clouds are almost surely made of water ice."<br /><br />Another nice image;<br /><br />http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17010102/<br /><br />Wowsers!<br /><br />Yevaud, you said Mars is stuck on freeze, perhaps this is not entirely true;<br /><br />http://a52.g.akamaitech.net/f/52/827/1d/www.space.com/images/h_opp_frost_02.jpg
 
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yevaud

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Of course there are clouds. The question was, broadly, are these [from the posted image] Cumulus cloud forms?" And the answer to that is "no." Exactly in keeping with what I said about not taking similarities too far, note the clouds in the links are referred to several times as, "Cirrus-like."<br /><br />Yes, I did mention there are some examples of more "violent" weather on Mars, and yes, that meant (among other things), the seasonal melting of the polar caps.<br /><br />If you'll note, virtually any cloud-form those stories mention that are <i>not</i> "Cirrus-Like" (and hence may be partially or totally water vapor) are within the 4 km Surface Boundary Layer. That too has been mentioned.<br /><br />Allow me to discuss what is meant by "Radiative Thermal Equilibrium."<br /><br />The sun rises and the surface begins to warm. That's understood. But on Mars, it achieves an equilibrium very fast with respect to Earth. There are no real temperature differentials across the planet; solar insolation received equals heat radiated away. The process reverses when the sun "sets." There are brief moments when there are sufficient differentials to drive convective processes, but these are rare, fleeting, and do not occur at significant altitude.<br /><br />Meteorologists and Atmospheric Physicists are taught to consider imaginary packets of air; each packet has a specific behavior determined by the composition of the gasses present and the water vapor present. Clearly, on Mars, their behavior will be different than Earth, as on Mars the packets will be almost entirely C02 along with a tiny trace-amount of water vapor.<br /><br />Simply, Cumulus cloud-forms <i>cannot</i> exist at any significant altitude on Mars.<br /><br />I can't state this any more simply than that. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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There is a useful gallery of martian clouds at http://www.msss.com/msss_images/subject/clouds.html <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<i>I was refering to those you posted a while back in this thread showing the difference between dust and clouds, you know, the ones with the labels added for clarity. In those pictures, what was the altitude and what area size are we talking about?</i><br /><br />Is this the image you mean? That is from Earth, central Australia in fact, the salt pans of Lake Eyre are clearly visible. <br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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mental_avenger

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SignalHill: <font color="yellow"> So you are implying that cloud formations beyond only a high-altitude cirrus type could develop in the Martian atmosphere? </font><br /><br />Not at all. I was merely pointing out an oft overlooked property of Martian atmosphere that should be taken into account when studying atmospheric phenomenon there. Such questions should be examined by atmospheric scientists which I am not. I do, however, accumulate, decipher, and correlate a lot of statistical data on the planets. Sometimes it comes in handy, as in this case.<br /><br />In any case, just think of this. The Martian atmosphere has only about 6% of the density at (average) ground level that the Earth has at sea level, and yet is more dense at 100 km than Earth’s atmosphere is at 100 km. In addition, with .38 G at the surface, the interactions within the atmosphere would differ from Earth, even if the composition were the same. All that is in addition to composition, which is radically different than on Earth. The mix of gasses is so radically different that even such things as relative humidity are entirely different there. Until we have “weather balloons†and other atmospheric sensors at various altitudes and various regions, we will be unable to analyze the Martian atmosphere, let alone describe the forces within it.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Our Solar System must be passing through a Non Sequitur area of space.</strong></font></p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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<i>There is a useful gallery of martian clouds at >http://www.msss.com/msss_images/subject/clouds.html</i><br /><br />Oh, quite nice. Thank you!<br /><br />The dynamical Martian atmosphere and it's processes are fascinating. A C02 atmosphere with those extreme day/night variations; the narrow Surface Boundary Layer; the seasonal melting of the various caps. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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signalhill

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Thank you, Mental Avenger. I was not aware of the thicker high-altitude atmospheric density on Mars as compared to Earth's at the same distance above the surface. <br /><br />I do wonder why they have not yet released such things as low-tech weather balloons at Mars. That appears something relatively cheap and simple to orchestrate that could yield mountains of knowledge. What gives? What are they waiting for? <br /><br />
 
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mental_avenger

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SignalHill: <font color="yellow"> What are they waiting for? </font><br /><br />An atmosphere dense enough to lift current balloons, or new balloons light enough to rise in the thin Martian atmosphere. And then, of course, there are the minor problems of the rather pricey freight bill for delivering the balloons to Mars, the technical problems of reliably remotely launching them, and the additional problems of delivering balloons to the many and various optimal launch sites. Weather balloon studies are probably better left to the Martian colonists. Current NASA priorities do not include high altitude weather studies, but do mandate finding the best sites for colonies.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Our Solar System must be passing through a Non Sequitur area of space.</strong></font></p> </div>
 
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signalhill

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Wow we are so far away from that reality, then. Nowhere near that. Such a program would require at least 100 years to actually implement. Probably more. At our rate, we send manned missions to other surfaces every 50 to 60 years just to tee off and collect some rocks! (that is being optimistic about the pending "Moon landings" and "Mars landings")
 
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JonClarke

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Balloons with modest payloads are quite feasible for Mars and there has been considerable amount of work on them. <br /><br />In the 80's and 90's the CNES in conjunction with the Planetary Society and the Russians developed and fully tested a balloon package to send with a Russian mission to mars. unfortunately budget cuts and technical problems with the russian probes led to delays and eventual cancellation. But it was a very exciting concept none the less and is still viable. So maybe one day it will fly. <br /><br />http://www.omnitron.net/radar/0mars.htm<br /><br />The German Mars Society is developing Archimedes, an innovative lightweight mision to mars featuring a balloon. So far they have completed zero G deployment tests during parabolic flights and have now progressed to near vacuum deloyment tests using sounding rockets.<br /><br />http://www.archimedes-ballon.de/index.php?id=EN <br /><br />Note: video of the rocket tests are vailable as downloads on the german language part of the site.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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agent99

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Well Jon, you prankster you, <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br />I think I said earlier that those clouds look like cumulus/cumulonimbus and I was correct, because those images are from Earth. You know, I was following on from a discussion about the difference between Mars clouds and dustorms and I saw those clouds smack me between the eye's in me thinking they were of Mars. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez!<br />Well at least now you know I know my meteorology [razz] <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <br /><br />But we still have a Mr Wolff excited about "water clouds on Mars"!
 
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agent99

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<font color="yellow">of course, there are the minor problems of the rather pricey freight bill for delivering the balloons to Mars</font><br /><br />Laugh olympics! <br /><br /><font color="yellow">Current NASA priorities do not include high altitude weather studies, but do mandate finding the best sites for colonies.</font><br /><br />Steady on! Don't we need to know more before we start planning to breed like cockroaches on Mars?<br /><br />
 
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JonClarke

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It's probably worth noting that both NAA 2011 Scout proposals, MAVEN and TGE, are atmsopheric focussed. Mars Expres also does a range of atmospheric science work, so there is more interest in atmospheric research than your post implies.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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signalhill

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Have there been any significant updates to the methanogen issue/replenishment to the atmosphere of Mars?<br /><br />
 
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