Mars rover falls silent in gigantic dust storm

It's awful hazy here right now.                  NASA

NASA's seemingly-unstoppable Mars rover Opportunity has been knocked out by a enormous dust storm that is enveloping the red planet and blotting out the sun. At left, the sun appears blindingly bright but darkens as the dust storm intensifies. Tau is a measure of the atmosphere's opacity - that is, its lack of transparency.

NASA's long-lived Opportunity Mars rover is hunkering down to conserve power in a bid to weather a huge dust storm blanketing the red planet that has, in effect, turned day into night for the solar-powered robot.

All flight controllers can do is wait for the storm to pass and the sky to clear, officials said, and hope Opportunity calls home.

"By no means are we out of the woods here", Opportunity project manager John Callas said. "And we're concerned about it, obviously. And so we are".

A NASA rover on Mars has fallen silent as a big dust storm envelops the planet and blots out the sun. If enough dust covers the solar panels of the aging robot, Opportunity could be in danger, as scientists have said in the past. However, still science operations remain suspended, the report said. The rover was only created to last 90 days but has vastly exceeded expectation, and is now in its 14 year on the Martian surface.

In an update posted on June 12, NASA said that its Opportunity team had attempted to contact the rover but, unfortunately, didn't get a response back.

In 2007, a planetwide dust storm blotted out the sun for two weeks. "The rover hits a steady-state temperature", NASA's Jim Watson told reporters, "at which point there's a balance between what little energy is coming out of the rover and what's lost to the environment".

"We're in waiting mode, listening every day for a signal".

Artist's concept of the Opportunity rover on Mars.

Kansas City In The Running To Host World Cup Soccer In 2026
The majority of the 80 matches in the North American bid would be played in the United States, who hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Edmonton's hopes of becoming a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup rest on a final vote Wednesday morning in Moscow.

Rebel Wilson has Australian defamation payout slashed
Wilson said on Twitter the night before the judgment that she had won the case regardless of the damages awarded. It also reduced her non-economic losses by AU$50,000 ($37,800) to AU$600,000 ($453,600).

USA, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 FIFA World Cup
A cat said to have psychic powers has predicted the victor of the first game in the 2018 World Cup , set to kick off on June 14. ET), teams from Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia will kick off the 2018 World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

But without the clock, Opportunity would not know what time it is. The rover's mission clock is programmed to wake the computer so it can check power levels.

Concerns include whether Opportunity will stay above its operating temperature, as well as whether the charge level will stay adequate enough to maintain the aforementioned mission clock. It relies on radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTGs): plutonium-powered devices that convert the heat of radioactive decay into electricity.

If the dust storm continues at this rate, the rover won't be able to charge for the next few days and will put itself back to sleep. This latest transmission also showed that the rover's temperature had reached about -29 °C (-20 °F). "We're concerned, but we're hopeful that the storm will clear and the rover will begin to communicate with us".

In 2010, Opportunity's twin Spirit suffered that exact fate, freezing to death after getting stuck in thick sand. Without them, there's a chance that Opportunity could drop below the temperature at which critical components would fail.

There is a risk that Opportunity will get too cold as it struggles to power its internal heaters, which protect its batteries from Mars' extreme cold.

Spirit has not worked for several years.

This is one of the most intense storms ever observed on Mars, NASA said.

Scientists aren't almost as concerned about the newer, nuclear-powered Curiosity rover on the other side of Mars, which is already seeing darkening skies.

Related News:



Most liked

Canada rallies to Trudeau after Trump's insult
But Trump had already said he would not hesitate to shut countries out of the U.S. market if they retaliate against his tariffs. The former Conservative prime minister said that while he believes the dispute is serious, that doesn't make it "lethal".

Gushing North Korean broadcaster Ri Chun Hee hails Trump-Kim summit
Meanwhile, allies and analysts were left scratching their heads over what President Trump and Kim Jong-un actually agreed to . Pompeo faced immediate questioning from his traveling press about the content of the agreement with North Korea.

Amelia Kerr Becomes Youngest Double Ton Scorer In ODI Cricket
New Zealand now travel across the Irish Sea to face England and South Africa in a Twenty20 tri-series, from June 20-July 1. Before today, Amelia's highest score was 81 not out and that was her lone fifty-plus innings.

David & Victoria Beckham: Us? Divorce? Never!
Victoria Beckham's reps were just as adamant in their denials, calling the divorce claims "absolute nonsense ". It was the couple's first public appearance since divorce rumours surfaced a few days before.

George Lucas plans for rejected 'Star Wars' sequel trilogy revealed
George Lucas has admitted that Star Wars fans would have likely hated his Sequel Trilogy. Star Wars: Episode IX is released in United Kingdom cinemas on December 19, 2019.

Arsenal and Chelsea will play a friendly in Ireland this summer
Oh yes, and Mikel Arteta will be on the touchline at the Emirates Stadium at the start of the new season after all... After the Gunners host the champions, the team now managed by Emery are at Chelsea .

New Vivo Nex Phone Has No Notch, and Almost No Bezels
Vivo has also incorporated the fingerprint sensor in the display, much like the Vivo X21 , that was launched in India recently. The smartphone features an FHD+ 6.59-inch Super AMOLED display, resolution of 2316 x 1080 pixels and 19.3:9 aspect ratio.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Is Free on PS Plus Now
This might be confusing for those that buy the standard edition of the game and want to get the season pass down the line. However, the bigger news is you can't buy the standard edition of the game and then buy the Season Pass separately.

Trump Calls The Free Press 'America's Biggest Enemy'
One can't completely denuclearize without validating, authenticating - you pick the word", he said. Most experts assess that the North Korean leader got the better deal at the summit.

Jaguar E-Pace gets an entry-level petrol engine and smart suspension
The new option is a 2.0 litre Ingenium four-pot with 197bhp, enough for a 7.7 sprint to 62mph and official economy of 34.4mpg. Although adaptive suspension isn't new to Jaguar , it wasn't available with the E-Pace when it was launched previous year .

Conflicting reports over Toby Alderweireld deal
Toby Alderweireld has made it clear he is open to the possibility of staying at Tottenham despite stories linking him with a move.

Federal Reserve hikes key interest rate for second time in 2018
Powell has repeatedly played down the dot plot as a guide to future interest rates, though investors continue to focus on it. The Fed expects inflation higher than 2% over the next two years , according to its latest projections .

God of War is Getting a New Game Plus Mode
The New Game+ Mode is now being developed and it's unclear precisely when it's going to be released for God of War . There's no date yet, but this will all make it into God of War as a free patch.

Business as usual in North Korea as public unaware of summit
Trump traveled to Singapore from Canada, where he met with other world leaders whose countries make up the Group of Seven. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said USA and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday.

North Korea delegation enjoys fruits of Singapore's capitalism
Regis hotel where the lobby has a cream-colored marble floor, chandeliers and large art works on the walls. Trump and Kim will be making history here on Tuesday morning when they shake hands for the first time.