back to article Astronomers get more than they bargained for, as Mars probe InSight's instruments detects solar eclipses

The seismometer and magnetometer on NASA’s Martian InSight probe specifically designed to detect marsquakes have proved unexpectedly sensitive enough to respond to Martian eclipses too, scientists report. Astronomers usually rely on cameras to study Martian solar eclipses as parts of the Sun are temporarily swallowed as the …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Provided this is repeatable...

    It must be a pretty amazing sensor. More power to the engineers. Way back when I designed experiment equipment we always built in more capabilities than were strictly asked for, but this one takes the biscuit. 10^-8 is about two orders better than is typically considered the maximum for electronics in the field - it's a normal limit for calibrators in ultra quiet environments..

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Meh

      Re: Provided this is repeatable...

      ...limit for calibrators in ultra quiet environments...

      Probably not a lot of traffic noise, autotuned muzak and other undesirable racket in the background on Mars.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Provided this is repeatable...

        Not even marsmuziek.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Provided this is repeatable...

      "it's a normal limit for calibrators in ultra quiet environments"

      Presumably Mars is a fairly quiet environment. No buses going past. No big electric motors starting up. No telephones. Nice.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Provided this is repeatable...

        But no pubs, either.

        1. Cuddles Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Provided this is repeatable...

          Not to worry, I'm sure their lockdown will be lifting soon.

        2. A. Coatsworth
          Alien

          Re: Provided this is repeatable...

          "Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox

  2. ThatOne Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Mars colonies

    > is expected to come crashing down on the planet’s surface in 30 to 50 million years time

    Bad news for those who expect to install long-term colonies on Mars...

    Now obviously somebody will say that humanity is very unlikely to be still around in even a single million years (and if it is, it will be blobs of fatty flesh, perma-plugged into fast-food and instant gratification entertainment, unwilling and unable to think or act).

    1. MGyrFalcon
      FAIL

      Re: Mars colonies

      > ...and if it is, it will be blobs of fatty flesh, perma-plugged into fast-food and instant gratification entertainment, unwilling and unable to think or act...

      Had to read that twice. I though you were talking about me during the COVID lockdown.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mars colonies

      "blobs of fatty flesh, perma-plugged into fast-food and instant gratification entertainment, unwilling and unable to think or act"

      I knew a girl like that once

    3. Alumoi

      Re: Mars colonies

      So, Idiocracy then?

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Mars colonies

        So, Idiocracy then?

        It exists already. It's called Trumpland.

  3. RM Myers Silver badge
    Coat

    Question

    Does this mean the instruments are photosensitive Phobos-sensitive, or could they just have nyctophobia?

  4. Red Ted
    Go

    New Reg unit of inclination?

    The angle subtended when a five franc coin is elevated on one edge by one silver atom...

    But the important question is what to call it?

    The Phobos?

    Or perhaps just the “Bugger All”, as I quite like the idea of having to use units of Mega-Bugger-Alls!

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: New Reg unit of inclination?

      I quite like the idea of having to use units of Mega-Bugger-Alls!

      I'm sorry, but the MBA is already taken as a unit of pointless education.

  5. sitta_europea

    Measure, measure, measure. You never know what will come out of it, sometimes it's the most unexpected things. My first experiences of the sometimes unexpected results of measuring things were more than 40 years ago. I can't talk about them but they left me with a life-long passion for measuring *everything*.

  6. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Happy

      I saw what you did there!

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
        Coat

        How could you see? The sun was hidden!

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    NASA

    Now & Always Something Amazing.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    Let’s be franc

    That’s pretty cool science

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Let’s be franc

      2 degrees cool

      Can we have a reg unit of measure for "Coolness" please. Fonzie?

      1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

        Re: Let’s be franc

        If the Fonze is the unit of coolness, then many of us (myself included) will be measured in micro or even nano-Fonzies. :O(

  9. Michael Hoffmann
    Joke

    And this instrument does this after a high-g blast into space and a landing process that would scare the bejeebus out of the most ardent rollercoaster fanatic.

    Mind-boggling what those scientists manage when they're not busy with their round-earth, evolution and vaccination conspiracies, isn't it?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Joe Gurman

    Stähler must be my age

    ....if he can remember 5-Franc coins.

    1. matthewdjb

      Re: Stähler must be my age

      No, he's Swiss.

      5 Swiss francs is about the thickness of a 50p and worth about £4.

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