Mars on July 22, 1998Analyzing Meteorological Data From Mars

Overview 

Students compare real-time Earth and Mars measurements for temperature, wind speed, humidity and atmospheric pressure by accessing Internet-data resources from NASA. 

Learner Outcomes 

Temperature/Pressure/Wind Analysis of the continental U.S.By completing this activity, the learner in grades 5-8 will: 

  • access real-time weather data and maps for their school location.
  • define the variables of temperature, wind speed, and atmospheric (barometric) pressure.
  • describe weather using numerical values of these variables.
  • utilize climate models to determine current weather conditions on Mars.
  • describe Martian weather by comparing it to Earth's weather.
  • access Martian surface probe data to describe Martian surface conditions.
National Science Education Standards 

National Mathematics Education Standards 

Materials and Technology 

Scientific Background 

Teacher Lesson Plans 

Activity 1: Make predictions about the current weather data in your area. 

Activity 2: Use the WWW to find out what the current temperature,  wind speed, wind direction, and barometric pressure is in your area. 

Activity 3: Determine the weather conditions on Mars' equator, North pole, and South pole by looking at various maps of Mars. 

 


Teacher Lesson Plans

Exploration - Real-Time Weather Data for Your Town 

Activity 1:  

Meteorologists often report the temperature, humidity, wind speed and barometric pressure.  Make predictions about the current weather data in your area. 

 
1. What do you think is the current temperature outside? _________________ 

2. What do you think the current wind speed and direction is? _____________ 

3. What do you think the barometric pressure is right now?________________ 

4. How do you think the barometric pressure is changing? ________________ 

Go back to Activities.
Activity 2: 

The Internet is filled with scientific data about cities close to where you live.   Use the WWW to find the current temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and barometric pressure in your area.  Try the National Weather Service, The Weather Channel or Intellicast WWW sites first. You might even like to try Internet Weather-Cams 

 
1. What is the current temperature? _________________ 

2. What is the current wind speed and direction? _________________ 

3. What is the current barometric pressure? _________________ 

4. How is the barometric pressure changing? _________________ 

5. How does this current map (example map) relate to the observations you recorded above? 
 
 
 
 

6. How well do the Internet data agree with your predictions of what you see outside? 
 
 
 
 

7. What would you expect the weather to be if the temperature was 85 degrees F, the wind 10 mph from the West, and the barometric pressure is 30.15 inches and rising? 
 
 
 
 

8. How would you characterize a cloudy, cold, winter day using weather data? 
 

Concept Introduction 

Real-Time Weather Data from Mars 

Go back to Activities.
Activity 3: 

Similar measurements are being calculated for the planet Mars right now  (Example Map).   Fill in this chart by looking at the on-line maps linked below. 

 
 
Observations
Equator
North Pole
South Pole
Temperature . 
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Wind Speed  
& Direction
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Barometric 
Pressure
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Other . 
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REAL-TIME Mars Data (from Mars Today at NASA Ames) 
Current Image of Mars from http://humbabe.arc.nasa.gov/MarsToday/marstoday.gif
How do these measurements compare to current conditions where you live? 
Temperature . 
.
Wind Speed  
& Direction
. 
.
Barometric 
Pressure
. 
.
Other . 
.

 
Go back to Activities.
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Extensions 



Assessment