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#121364 - 01/26/04 10:47 PM guys and sols  
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read this in a BBC Science article about the Mars exploration:
"We were unaware of [the problem] because of the accumulation that happened during cruise and our 18 sols on the surface."

I certainly can deduce the meaning, but I'm curious about this usage.

here's the url:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3431617.stm


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#121365 - 01/26/04 11:04 PM Re: guys and sols  
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Dear etaoin: I hope this is not coals to Newcastle: here is a paragraph about timekeeping on Mars:
In seeking a martian time standard and calendar system, we should be driven by the
practical needs of those who will, in the not too distant future, be working and living in
the Martian environment. It will no doubt be some time before an extremely accurate
local standard is available there. Calendar constructs based on terrestrial analogy are
useful since they can be easily understood by all and they may incorporate
psychologically valid ideas (e.g., circadian rhythms). Consequently, the same terms may
be used to refer to somewhat similar constructs in the martian and terrestrial contexts. To
avoid confusion, we will adopt the practice of referring to the martian analogy of a
terrestrial quantity by using the prefix areo- (from the Greek Ares for Mars). For
example, the martian equivalent of a day has long been referred to as a sol (a more
precise definition is given below). If Martians were to make use of an interval of 7 sols,
corresponding to a terrestrial week of 7 days, we would refer to this unit of time as an
areoweek.


#121366 - 01/26/04 11:18 PM Re: guys and sols  
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sols

Just read about this yesterday, et. A sol is a Martian day, equivalent to about 24 hours and 39 minutes. The article was talking about how difficult it is for NASA scientists to adjust to the working schedule dictated by the Martian day. NASA controllers schedule work for the solar-powered rovers during (Martian) daylight hours. NASA workers who started at 8 am at the beginning of the mission were starting after noon just a week later, and the disparity will only increase as the 90-day mission continues. NASA posts dual clocks in the lab so workers will always know the time on both planets.

Will try to find a link to the story - things I never thought about as complications!

EDIT: http://www.detnews.com/2004/nation/0401/25/a05-44784.htm


#121367 - 01/26/04 11:21 PM Re: guys and sols  
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ah, thanks, Bill. no lump of coal for you! good information.

It will no doubt be some time before an extremely accurate
local standard is available there. Calendar constructs based on terrestrial analogy are
useful since they can be easily understood by all and they may incorporate
psychologically valid ideas (e.g., circadian rhythms).


this I found interesting. seems as if in this day and age, they could figure out a local standard without much trouble, but adding in this "psychologically valid ideas" is an intriguing concept.



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#121368 - 01/26/04 11:22 PM Re: guys and sols  
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Why not just say "day"? Last time I looked, a common definition of day was "one rotation of a planet upon its axis". In the immortal words of Sybill Fawlty, "Pretentious? Moi?" Unless of course there was a letter missing, and he was referring to the results of a Martian census.


#121369 - 01/26/04 11:30 PM Re: guys and sols  
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thanks, Nancy, and max, I agree. I suppose it might be helpful to have different words to make more clear which "day" is being talked about.
seem strange though, that all this work is visual. or I'm assuming that's the reason that they need to work on Martian time. aren't some of these experiments time-of-day independent?



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#121370 - 01/26/04 11:38 PM Re: guys and sols  
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I suppose it might be helpful to have different words to make more clear which "day" is being talked about.

Ah, but the problem with that is the odd choice they made - "sol"? Not eaxctly uniquely Martian, now, is it? What happens when Huygens starts doing its thang next year? What are they going to call a Saturnian day?


#121371 - 01/26/04 11:42 PM Re: guys and sols  
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Saturnian day

Sals?

and someone can start a nice little delicatessen...



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#121372 - 01/26/04 11:56 PM Re: guys and sols  
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I suppose they could use sol to refer to any non-Earth day; the term would be understood as planet-specific in the context of the mission. It will probably be some time before NASA will be controlling a single mission involving more than one other planet at a time, where they'd have to distinguish between a Martian sol and a Saturnine(?) Saturnian(?)(what's the adjective meaning "of or pertaining to Saturn"?) sol.


#121373 - 01/27/04 12:07 AM Re: guys and sols  
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The other problem I have with using "sol" to mean "non-Earth day", is that to me, it would make more sense to use it, if they must, for a non-earth year. Or do they have a term already in mind for that? I am a simple man, and it seems like much ado about nothing, when they could just say "Martian day". Bunch of pretentious marssols!


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