The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, is returning a number of unique observations of Martian dust storms, providing an unparalleled depth of information and insight into the way in which these storms evolve and spread across huge swathes of the planet.
Hope provides a powerful platform to observe details of the structure and variability of the Martian atmosphere. Coordinated observations made by the EXI camera and the EMIRS infrared spectrometer characterize the thermal state of the surface and lower atmosphere and provide details of the geographic distribution of dust, water vapor, and water and carbon-dioxide ice clouds over time scales of minutes to days.
The EXI camera system collects images at three visible and two ultraviolet wavelengths – providing a multispectral “weather satellite view” of Mars. The color composites presented here are assembled from images taken through EXI’s blue, green, and red filters (centered at 437, 546, and 635 nanometers). These images are “calibrated” products that have removed many of the artifacts introduced by the camera system and also provide the observation geometry information to allow for mapping. The contrast has been adjusted to enhance the visibility of the surface and atmospheric features.
EMIRS is an interferometric thermal infrared spectrometer (operating in the 6-40 micron wavelength range) that complements EXI in characterizing the lower atmosphere of Mars. EMIRS measurements are used to determine the distribution of lower atmospheric constituents such as dust, water ice, and water vapor (presented here as optical depth – related to the number of aerosols suspended in the atmosphere).
In addition, Mars surface temperatures and atmospheric temperature profiles up to 50 km from the surface are measured. For the figures shown here, EMIRS data are averaged over an individual orbit of the Hope spacecraft (a time span of about 55 hours) to construct “globes” of dust optical depth (shown as shades of red, overlaid on a 3D map of surface elevations; these “globes” are centered at 4°N latitude, 100°E longitude). The warming of the suspended dust by sunlight leads to increased atmospheric temperatures, which are also detected by EMIRS.
Starting in late December 2021, EXI and EMIRS monitored a rapidly-evolving regional dust storm as it expanded to a size of over several thousand km. A series of EXI and EMIRS “globes” are presented here (orientated with north to the top), documenting the growth and dissipation of the storm over nearly two weeks.
The prominent dark “shark’s fin” feature in the EXI images is known as Syrtis Major. In this area, thin deposits of dark basaltic sand cover the surface of a gently-sloping shield volcano. To the south, the tan circular feature is the Hellas impact basin (the largest crater on Mars – about 2300 km across, and up to 7 km deep) – often shrouded in dust and water-ice clouds. In both the EMIRS and EXI globes, a green star marks a “reference location” (an 85-km diameter impact crater) to visually aid tracking features in both data sets.
On 29 December 2021 (EMM orbit number 153), EXI captured a fully illuminated disk of Mars nearly centered on Syrtis Major (image center: 24.6°S, 81.1°E). It was mid-winter in the southern hemisphere (Ls = 149°). As is typical for this season, the atmosphere was relatively clear, with only thin water-ice clouds visible over the plains to the east of Syrtis. As is also typical, Hellas appeared to be filled with tannish dust clouds, obscuring deposits of surface ice mantling the southern portion of the basin. The EMIRS observations during this time confirm the relatively thick dust clouds in Hellas but detect only low amounts of suspended dust elsewhere. This set of EXI and EMIRS observations provides a baseline to compare with the subsequent views of Mars obtained over the following two weeks.
On 5 January 2022 (EMM orbit number 156), EXI obtained this half-illuminated view of Mars (image center: 12.3°S, 94.8°E) — the sun was just setting near the center of the disk. Apparently forming over the previous week, a massive dust storm (about 2500 km across) was approaching from the east and was partially obscuring Syrtis Major; greyish water-ice clouds are also evident in this storm. Hellas was completely shrouded by dust clouds. The EMIRS observations clearly show the high concentrations of dust in the Syrtis and Hellas dust storms, with a “dust haze” extending far to the east.
On January 7, 2022 (EMM orbit number 157), this mid-day EXI observation better reveals the extent of the dust haze and greyish water-ice clouds spreading to the east of Syrtis Major and to the north of Hellas (image center: 22.8°S, 97.9°E). The EMIRS data reveal the increasing thickness of this diffuse dust haze, suggesting the active lifting of dust from the surface extending at least 4000 km eastward from Syrtis Major.
On January 9, 2022 (EMM orbit number 158), EXI observed a fully illuminated hemisphere centered on Syrtis Major (image center: 22.7°S, 62.6°E). The dust-lifting has extended to the west, with a discrete multi-lobed dust storm (about 1200 km across) swirling over northwestern Syrtis. The dust haze is very prominent covering the plains eastward from Syrtis. Again, EMIRS reveals the extent of the dust clouds – dramatically portraying the increased dust optical depth from NW of Syrtis all the way to the eastern limb of the map – spanning about 1/3 of the circumference of Mars! Compare this set of observations with the relatively clear conditions prevailing on 29 December 2021!
The final time step is for January 14, 2022 (EMM orbit number 160). EXI shows a late-afternoon (nearing sunset) view of Syrtis Major (image center: 8.5°S, 117.0°E). No discrete dust storms are visible; instead, a pervasive dust haze partially obscures and extends eastward from the entire Syrtis Major/Hellas region. EMIRS data also indicate the thinning of the haze, with the amount of dust significantly reduced. The continuation of the dust veil to fill the Hellas basin is evident in both the EXI image and EMIRS map.
As the Martian season approaches southern spring, dust storm activity typically becomes more pervasive. The Hope observatory is a valuable orbiting asset in documenting the location and evolution of dust storms on the planet, giving unprecedented observations and insight into the nature of these storms and their characterisation.
Gotham City Pavilion Unveiled at Expo 2020 Dubai
For one month only, Batman fans will be able to immerse themselves into the shadowy world of Batman and save Gotham by solving a series of riddles at The Gotham City Pavilion inspired by the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film “The Batman,” located within The Opportunity District of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Echoing the dimly lit Batcave, the pavilion is set to transport visitors into the heart of the eagerly anticipated Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” movie. Guests will be whisked into the Batcave and invited to crack the encrypted messages and claim a prize from Batman’s private collection, with collectible posters, official movie merchandise, and special edition comics up for grabs. Advance tickets for “The Batman,” releasing in cinemas on 3rd March, will be available for purchase on-site through VOX Cinemas. Visitors can also buy tickets on the VOX Cinemas’ website and app.
With its exposed concrete walls, multi-monitor computer, and chalk-drawing covered floor, the pavilion pays homage to the movie’s Batcave throughout the moody, gritty space, complete with life-size Batman statues and indoor Bat-Signal projections. QR codes with AR filter and Social Lens will be placed by Batman’s workstation, allowing visitors to immerse themselves into the experience, while the official trailer plays on the screen.
Inspiration for the film’s Batcave came from an underground train station situated below the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “I was thinking about foundations,” recalls James Chinlund, Production Designer, “The Batman.” “I remembered there’s an underground train station at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the myth, which I think is true, is that there’s a train parked there all the time for whenever the President is in town and if there’s ever an emergency, they could take him through this secret tunnel at the Waldorf and it would get him out of town discreetly. I always loved that idea and thought it was so romantic. I thought that if you were the Wayne’s and you had created this city, you would probably have your own secret train terminal under the tower.”
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a 6th & Idaho/Dylan Clark Productions Production, a Matt Reeves Film, “The Batman.” The film is set to open in theaters across the region beginning 3rd March 2022; it will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. The Batman releases across cinemas in the UAE on the 3rd March 2022
CORSAIR Intros 5000T RGB Mid-Tower Case and LC100 Case Accent Lighting Panels
CORSAIR has announced the new CORSAIR iCUE 5000T RGB PC case. Boasting a unique contoured design in black or white and 208 individually addressable RGB LEDs, the 5000T RGB has the most integrated lighting ever built into a CORSAIR case. High-airflow mesh panels and room for up to two simultaneous 360mm radiators for outstanding cooling ensure the 5000T RGB makes an immediate and lasting impression.
The 5000T RGB’s stunning light show comes from 160 individually addressable RGB LEDs in the built-in light strips that surround your hardware on three sides, and 48 across the three included CORSAIR LL120 RGB fans. This setup comes pre-wired and ready to go right out of the box thanks to an included iCUE COMMANDER CORE XT controller, delivering precise fan speed control for up to six PWM fans and detailed system monitoring, in addition to unparalleled lighting control.
The 5000T RGB features a clean design and builder-friendly features to help you get the most out of today’s most powerful components. A spacious interior can accommodate up to ten 120mm fans or multiple 360mm radiators, made possible by a convenient motherboard tray that enables side-mounted cooling configurations. This is complemented by removable front and roof mesh panels, providing plentiful airflow to any system built inside.
For enthusiasts seeking even more RGB lighting to set their case apart, today also sees the launch of CORSAIR iCUE LC100 Case Accent Lighting Panels. LC100 kits let you unleash your creativity by configuring your own custom layouts of up to 18 interconnected triangular RGB tiles inside or outside your case.
LC100 attaches magnetically to any steel surface and comes with special low-profile connectors and hinges for attachment at varying angles – making spectacular three-dimensional layouts possible.
LC100 Starter Kits include a CORSAIR iCUE Lighting Node PRO controller so you can immediately synchronize your case lighting with the rest of your iCUE setup, while Expansion Kits add nine more panels for even more sprawling, mesmerizing configurations.
For the bold styling and brilliant lighting to show off your latest PC masterpiece, the 5000T RGB and LC100 make an unforgettable combination. The CORSAIR iCUE 5000T RGB Mid Tower Case and CORSAIR iCUE LC100 Case Accent Lighting Panels are available immediately from the CORSAIR webstore and the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors.
The 5000T RGB and LC100 are backed by a two-year warranty, alongside the CORSAIR worldwide customer service and technical support network.
RECAPP Brings Free Recycling Service to Dubai
RECAPP, the UAE’s first free-of-charge door-to-door recycling service, has announced its expansion into Dubai. Residents of the emirate can now schedule pickups for recyclable materials at their convenience and collect points they can redeem for gifts offered by RECAPP partners. At this stage, the RECAPP service is available to residents in Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah, Business Bay/Downtown, Al Barsha, MBRM City – District One – Meydan, Arabian Ranches 1, and Springs/Meadows/The Lakes.
Jérôme Viricel, General Manager of RECAPP at Veolia Middle East, said, “We are thrilled to bring RECAPP to Dubai after achieving tremendous results in Abu Dhabi, where we have empowered thousands of residents to take up recycling by providing a free, accessible, convenient service. Launching RECAPP in Dubai will enable us to significantly expand our base of recyclers, furthering our mission of supporting local communities as they strive to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.”
RECAPP was initially launched in Abu Dhabi by Veolia Middle East, the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Since its launch in November 2020, RECAPP has built a community of 15,000 registered users in Abu Dhabi and collected 150 tonnes of recyclables, including transparent and opaque plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
RECAPP empowers each individual in their recycling process by offering an easy and efficient way to schedule pick-ups for plastic bottles and aluminum cans. After segregating recyclables from general waste at home, residents can simply download the Go RECAPP application from the App Store or Google Play, and schedule a pick-up time at their convenience. RECAPP will then collect the recyclables from the user’s doorstep and recycle them, completely free of charge.
The collected recyclables will be transported to RECAPP’s newly-opened warehouse in Al Quoz, where the plastic bottles and aluminum cans will be segregated and baled, with a daily segregation capacity of 1 tonne. Each time a user recycles, points are accumulated based on the weight of the collected recyclables, and the user can redeem the points with RECAPP’s reward partners. Alongside Agthia with Al Ain Water and 1971 Store, Carrefour, Upfill, and De L’Arta, RECAPP has welcomed Cotton Home to its portfolio of reward partners.
To this end, RECAPP is collaborating extensively with Agthia, and has begun building partnerships with Coca-Cola, Nestlé, FrieslandCampina, PepsiCo and Unilever, with the goal of capturing recyclable post-consumer packaging and ensuring it is effectively recycled. These efforts are in line with the UAE Circular Economy Policy to adopt sustainable consumption and production patterns.
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