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 by: Massimo Riso

Daily weather conditions on Mars
By Rover Perseverance

La stazione ambientale MEDA installata sul rover Perseverance
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
The Mars 2020 mission to Mars was successfully launched by NASA on July 30, 2020. The landing occurred on February 18, 2021 in Jezero Crater with the Perseverance rover.

The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) collects atmospheric measurements that will provide a regular weather report from Jezero Crater on Mars. Each of two horizontal booms mounted on the Mars 2020 rover's mast is encircled by six wind detectors, which will measure the horizontal and vertical winds. Because they extend away from the rover, they avoid wind interference caused by the rover itself and record the wind speed from any direction. Below the two wind sensor booms are three temperature sensors, which in combination with two more placed at the rover body, will measure the ambient temperature near the surface. Near the temperature sensors, other sensors will measure the relative humidity of the atmosphere, and the balance between the amount of infrared energy received from the sun and the amount reflected back to space.

Data on wind, air, and ground temperature, air pressure, humidity, and radiation will help scientists understand ongoing weather patterns and plan for future human and robotic missions to Mars. Unfortunately NASA only makes available the air temperature and atmospheric pressure data, it is not clear why it does not make the remaining data available.
The term "SOL" refers to the length of the solar day on Mars that is: 24 hours, 39 minutes end 35,244 seconds. The number that is reported in the field is the number of Martians days since Curiosity is on Mars. A martian year is di 668.6 sols. Martian months are defined as spanning 30 degrees in solar longitude (Ls).

Due to the eccentricity of Mars orbit, martian months are thus from 46 to 67 sols long.

Ls range
Sol range
(in sols)
1 0 30 0.0 61.2 61.2 Northern Hemisphere Spring Equinox at Ls=0
2 30 60 61.2 126.6 65.4  
3 60 90 126.6 193.3 66.7 Aphelion (largest Sun-Mars distance) at Ls=71
4 90 120 193.3 257.8 64.5 Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice at Ls=90
5 120 150 257.8 317.5 59.7  
6 150 180 317.5 371.9 54.4  
7 180 210 371.9 421.6 49.7 Northern Hemisphere Autumn Equinox at Ls=180
Dust Storm Season begins
8 210 240 421.6 468.5 46.9 Dust Storm Season
9 240 270 468.5 514.6 46.1 Perihelion (smallest sun-Mars distance) at Ls=251
Dust Storm Season
10 270 300 514.6 562.0 47.4 Northern hemisphere Winter Solstice at Ls=270
Dust Storm Season
11 300 330 562.0 612.9 50.9 Dust Storm Season
12 330 360 612.9 668.6 55.7 Dust Storm Season ends