Preliminary Meteorological Results on Mars from the Viking 1 Lander

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Science  27 Aug 1976:
Vol. 193, Issue 4255, pp. 788-791
DOI: 10.1126/science.193.4255.788


The results from the meteorology instruments on the Viking 1 lander are presented for the first 4 sols of operation. The instruments are working satisfactorily. Temperatures fluctuated from a low of 188°K to an estimated maximum of 244°K. The mean pressure is 7.65 millibars with a diurnal variation of amplitude 0.1 millibar. Wind speeds averaged over several minutes have ranged from essentially calm to 9 meters per second. Wind directions have exhibited a remarkable regularity which may be associated with nocturnal downslope winds and gravitational oscillations, or to tidal effects of the diurnal pressure wave, or to both.