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An Excuse for REMS errors; Temperature, Pressure & Albedo links (Posted 9/20/2018) A Possible Excuse for REMS Errors.  

Nathan Mariels examined the Planetary Data a System (PDS) for MSL data. On July 18, 2017 at 8:07 PM, he wrote:

“There are a lot of data points. Every 5 minutes, unless an event occurs, which causes it to sample 512 points at short intervals. The triggers and timing change depending on the code version.  REMS is on version 7.  I think that's why you see the pressure from past dates sometimes change.  The format of the data changes, so the weather software gets changed, but some older data is then getting converted wrong if the software thinks it's all in the new format.”

15.7 Temperature, Pressure and Albedo.

       This section merges our findings with an article written in Italian by Marco de Marco (

       De Marco states that, “Gale crater is located south of the Martian equator. According to NASA's albedo maps, the average value recorded is 0.193, with a minimum of 0.111 and a maximum of 0.278; the place for landing has an average albedo of 0.171. With these values it’s possible to calculate the maximum daily temperature, taking into account the inclination of the sun rays in relation to the Martian season. From it, distance of Mars from the sun and albedo it’s possible to obtain the temperature using Boltzmann’s Law which states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body across all wavelengths per unit time (also known as the black-body radiant emittance or radiant existence)j ⋆ {\displaystyle j^{\star }}  is directly proportional to the 4th power of the black body’s temperature (see Figure 89)

j ⋆ = σ T 4 . {\displaystyle j^{\star }=\sigma T^{4}.}

      “By applying this principle to the conditions of  Gale crater, we already have the first surprises, especially if compared to the data provided by Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) from Mars Global Surveyor. In the comparison graph between the calculated data and the values provided by TES for latitude 0 ° and -10 °, there is some discrepancy between the temperatures of those latitudes and theoretical values which could only be explained by accepting values of albedo much higher than the actual ones. From the complete analysis of TES temperature data it can be seen that Mars should have an average albedo of 0.44, where visual albedo is 0.15 and geometric albedo is about 0.3. Always according to TES data the albedo itself varies according to the temperature. This behavior is quite curious! In fact, the albedo map supplied by NASA varies from a minimum of 0.08 to a maximum of 0.32, while according to TES data albedo ranges up to a maximum of 0.84 for polar regions and up to 0.56 in equatorial regions.”

Figure 89 - Maximum temperature calculated according to Boltzman’s Law with TES measurements from the equator to -10° latitude (10° South latitude)

       “The only explanation for this phenomenon, obviously taking the TES data as correct, would be the massive presence of cloud formations, especially in colder times, as opposed to the activities related to sand storms that usually occur in the warmer moments which in itself would exclude the sand storms from the explanation of this phenomenon. However, since this fact is unconfirmed, it would be more appropriate to deduce the presence of a variable error percentage in the TES data, particularly at the lower temperatures, as shown in Figure 88 above.”

       De Marco continues, “Returning to the TES data, we will expect temperature variations from a minimum of -16 ° C to a maximum of + 31 ° C. Instead, according to my calculated data, taking into account the different degrees of albedo I would expect variations from a minimum of -2 ° C up to a maximum of almost +49 ° C, as far as the whole crater is concerned. With respect to the specific landing area, the values would vary from a minimum of + 8 ° C to a maximum of + 43 ° C, practically always above the freezing point of the water, at least as far as the maximum daily temperature. As you may also notice the temperature should easily exceed even + 40 ° C.

       “Curiosity landed inside Gale crater, on August 6, 2012, when Mars was at the solar longitude (Ls) 150.4 a Martian month before spring equinox the southern hemisphere. According to the graph, at that time the temperature should reach a maximum of + 26 ° C with upward trend. Let's remember then that any phenomena related to the presence of liquid water will provide us with great information on the actual Martian atmospheric density. In fact, Gale crater also has a certain amount of water, with a percentage of between 6 and 8% of the ground mass, also proved by the presence of gullies! It would be extremely interesting to be able to watch live from the Curiosity cameras this water spill from the ground at recurring slope lineae (RSL), as well as the same water behavior once on the surface. If the soil temperature exceeds + 40 ° C, then we will have to shift the lower limit for the Martian atmospheric density to no less than 80 hPa.” However as is demonstrated throughout the Mars Correct Basic Report there appears to be major flaws in temperature data, one of which is that the REMS Team let us know that ground temperatures are only accurate to +/- 10 °C. In looking through the first 2,165 sols at MSL, the highest ground temperature reported by the REMS Team was +24 C ° on Sol 1,428.

Figure 90 - Combining day and night infrared shooting, Marco de Marco obtained this map in false colors where red spots area areas that tend to warm up more quickly during the day, while green resembles areas that tend to retain more warmth overnight, everything else is shown in blue

       Marco continues, “Another proof of the presence of water inside the Gale crater is provided by the infrared thermal images taken in day and night. Analysis of them provides us with very valuable information on the physical nature of the soil. What appears brighter in a photo, during the day, is given by everything that is able to quickly absorb solar thermal energy by rapidly changing its temperature. Conversely, what remains brighter in a nighttime thermal photo is given by everything that tends to accumulate heat energy, dispersing it and absorbing it much more slowly than anything else. This process, otherwise termed thermal inertia, is also an indicator of the density of a body. In fact, a low-density object tends to warm (or cool) much faster than an object with a higher density, which vice versa will react much more slowly to temperature changes.

       “Comparing the two infrared, day and night shootings, we can build a map of the distribution of the thermal inertia of the Gale crater. In the map shown, the red corresponds to the hottest areas during the day and therefore to low thermal inertia, the green is the hottest areas at night and therefore high thermal inertia, all the rest is represented in blue. By comparing this type of analysis with other areas of Mars, it is easy to conclude that in many cases green indicates water deposits, as it coincides with the Gullies spillages and the underlying collection areas. It cannot be considered as a certainty of the presence of water, as other materials may mimic the same behavior, but it is also true that all areas where water spills are observed as well as the collection areas are always green in this type of analysis.

       “Another indication in favor of the presence of water is the detection of sediment and erosive clay minerals that form only in the presence of water. They are the testimony of the ancient abundance of water on the surface of Mars, but they may also be derived from the transport of water coming out of the inner side of the crater ridge.

       “We strung together weekly segments of the Malin Mars Weather videos to study cloud patterns between 1 November 2008 and 19 September 2010, both corresponding to the 319th sol of the Martian year (see What we found was a prevalent movement from west to east with cloudy bodies sometimes coming from the Elysium plateau near Curiosity, where large cloudy formations are likely to be of orographic (mountainous) origins. Much more often, cloudy bodies come from the basin of Hellas, constantly invaded by clouds that frequently detach and propagate in the direction of the Newton crater. There are also cloud formations associated with sand storms, but in the video they appear darker and turn to orange, as opposed to clouds of water that appear lightly white or slightly turned towards the blue.

       “In this regard the precipitation of water on Mars should never exceed a tenth of a millimeter. But such a small quantity of water, mostly discharged into an 11-km air column, should not have any relevance to the optical transparency of the atmosphere, even if brought to saturation. Yet the optical relevance is well visible, and is another point of disagreement with the official data provided. To merit a minimum of optical relevance, concentrations of water vapor or ice crystals in general should amount to a precipitate of at least a couple of millimeters, but this is only possible if we consider the average temperature of Mars to be not less than -40 ° C. In fact, the concentration of water in the atmosphere depends essentially on temperature, regardless of the atmospheric pressure itself, which is only determinant in establishing the possible phases. Normally it is considered as the average temperature of Mars -63 ° C. At that temperature, in fact, the water concentration cannot exceed the partial pressure of 0.011 hPa or a 114 micron precipitate. If we wanted to set a partial pressure of at least 0.25 hPa, it would have to have an average temperature of -37 ° C instead of the -63° C currently declared. Strangely, if we apply a minimum greenhouse effect to the thermal model of Mars, since its atmosphere is composed mainly of carbon dioxide, we will easily get an average temperature between -40 ° C and -35 ° C. This obviously would have more effect on the minimum night temperatures, but the data are unclear in this respect. For me, it remains clear that the official amount of water contained in the atmosphere does not match the observed phenomena.”