Solar eclipses are still an interesting, but usual event for earthlings. During these periods, the earth's satellite blocks the light of a star. However, eclipses do not occur only on our planet. For example, one of the Martian events was able to fix the landing platform InSight.
Research on Mars
Elysius Plain Map
NASA's InSight spacecraft performed a successful landing on the Martian surface on November 26, 2018. As the location of the selected plain Elysii. It was important to find a relatively clean surface, so as not to break on large boulders and not encounter a problem while drilling (although it still happened. “InSight mission encountered an unexpected obstacle on Mars”) .
We have before us an important mission worth $ 480 million, which should last at least 720 days. Its main goal is for the first time to study in detail the internal structure and composition of Mars. For this purpose, a special auger is used, which is able to descend to a certain depth and examine internal processes. This includes not only geological studies, but also changes in the internal temperature and activity under the surface layer. In addition, a set of sensitive instruments will record the impact of meteorites on the surface, which will help determine the frequency and force of collisions.
Eclipse on the Red Planet
Martian eclipse captured by NASA's Curiosity rover
In addition, the device InSight captures everything that happens on the surface itself. Recently, he managed to catch another eclipse on the Red Planet. The radiometer helped to track the overlap of sunlight during the passage of the Martian satellite Phobos before the star. Interestingly, in the first half of March, InSight recorded 3 events.
It is important to understand that each eclipse covers no more than 30 seconds. But it is surprising that even such a small period leads to a drop in surface temperature by 1 ° C. Cameras on board also helped, which caught a reduction in the illumination level in the territory.
What about borax?
If you clicked on the link to the article, you could find out that the rig had to stop working for about 14 days until the problem was solved. Now engineers are pushing two versions. They believe that the barrier was made by a rocky shard, which the device is trying to break through. Or a small stone knocked down the inclination level by 15 degrees, because of which the drill lost its original direction. Researchers continue to collect information in order to solve the problem as quickly as possible and to continue the mission. Recall that the hole (5-meter well) will serve as a route for a special temperature sensor, which will be able to understand how much heat comes from the lower layers of the planet.
Information about temperature changes during short-term eclipses on Mars is important. Scientists are trying to make an accurate picture of the temperature indicators of the Red Planet. Therefore, information on the reduction of heating by 1 ° C is used in further studies of the geophysical data of the uppermost surface layer.