Perseverance is shooting x-rays at Mars?
Sounds like Amanfrommars might need a lead vest for Christmas!
Perseverance, NASA's latest Martian rover, will extend its two-metre robotic arm and use an AI-powered control system to carefully aim X-ray beams at ancient rock samples that might contain fossilised microbes. The instrument known as PIXL, which stands for Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry, shoots X-rays to …
amfM is from Mars, which implies he's no longer there and is thus safe from this particular bugaboo for the duration. Rumo(u)r has it he's here for the beer and not going anywhere anytime soon.
 Are Men from Mars properly referred to as "he", as it would appear at first blush? I'd hate to start an interplanetary incident over improper use of pronouns ...
Saying you're "from" somewhere doesn't imply you are no longer there. He might be from Mars and living on Earth, or he might be from Mars and living on Mars. The communication delays and increased likelihood of transmission errors due to the distance from Mars to Earth might explain some of his posts.
If you are from, say, Hull and are vacationing in Southport and somebody asks you where you are from, you answer Hull. However, if you are from Hull and somebody in Hull asks you where you are from, typically would your answer not be Here? (We won't ask where somebody from Southport might claim to be from, kiddies read ElReg and we wouldn't want to scar(e) them.)
Seeing as amfM doesn't use the handle amfH, Shirley he's not there?
There is only one amfM, so far as I know. He somehow lost his original "amfM" account (forgot the password(??)), and created the "amfM 1" account. The last post of the former and the creation of the latter are roughly an hour apart, in mid-June of 2009. The only reason I know this is because I watched it happen and found it odd enough to remember.
I seem to remember an "amfM1" (with no space) account posting occasionally, but that might be a figment of my imagination.
There have been a couple of pretenders using various variations of the handle (some quite punny, as is the wont of us commentards), but all were intentionally(?) obvious imposters.
It has been suggested there might be a MomFromMars (maybe named ELIZA), and possibly an UncleFromMars (Parry?), but amfM has held his council on the subject.
"During the day, the temperature on the Red Planet can fluctuate by up to 38°C. The added heat can cause the metal on Perseverance's robotic arm to expand and contract by up to 13 millimetres"
Expansion of 13 millimeters over a temperature differential of just 38°C? doesn't that seem a little extreme? I would expect a deviation of around 1.3 mm not 1.3 cm.
Depends how long the arm is, I suppose.
Having said that, I decided to look up the thermal coefficient of steel (no idea if this is the material used), and it's 13 x 10^-6 (at 20 °C, but let's go with it for a ballpark figure).
Multiplying 13x10^-6 by a 38 °C shift, by a 2m arm length gave me.... 0.000988m. Pretty much bang on 1 mm. So... unless the thermal expansion of this material is an order of magnitude different, or the arm is 10x the length, it looks like you're on the money.
I went on quite a little journey there, didn't I :D
I expect they're probably using a variety of 7075 Aluminium alloy (Aluminum for the FREEDOM!!!!! folk) which has a slightly higher thermal expansion then a lot of steels. But even so, I've seen it used as components in jet turbine housings and mounts and it sure didn't get anywhere near 13mm of expansion while in use, nevermind on a hot summer day.
I suppose they could be talking about total expansion by volume as opposed to directional. Would be a daft way to phrase it though.
This post has been deleted by its author
I went on quite a little journey there, didn't I :D .... My-Handle
And quite rightly so, My-Handle. El Reg doesn't do support for fake news. That simple strength makes it priceless, and more than just extremely valuable.
"NASA's hefty Martian rover..."
Unfortunately, Mars was only life-friendly for its first half a billion years before its small core cooled and died also taking out the protective magnetic field and the rest is history. NASA's realistically right to potentially look only for tiny dead microfossils although both Europa and Enceladus look to be potentially far more hospitable to life. That's where I'd send the probes.
I hope this rover will have something to automatically clean the solar panels of the Martian dust, something which the other two rovers did not appear to have. It would most likely be something that would benefit the rover and perhaps extend its operations.
This post has been deleted by its author