The Phoenix spacecraft and the Canadian components: the Lidar and the MET mast thermometers.
The Canadian Lidar instrument in operation.
The first-ever Mars weather report has been beamed back to Earth thanks to cutting-edge Canadian technology.
The weather was chilly, at least by Earth's standards, with a high of -30 C and a frigid low of -80 C on Tuesday.
The weather bulletin was sent by the shoebox-sized Canadian weather station aboard the Phoenix Mars Lander, which touched down Sunday after a 10-month journey.
The data sent by the $37-million device was the first of its kind. In addition to temperature, it recorded winds of an estimated 20 kilometres per hour from the northeast, and pressure of 8.5 millibars, or about one-100th of Earth's pressure at sea-level.
Weather-tracking instruments were turned on shortly after the Phoenix-Mars lander reached its destination, Jim Whiteway, a York University professor and the head of the Canadian mission told The Canadian Press.
He said the Canadian team will spend three months analyzing data beamed back from the box to help in the search for evidence of water on the Red Planet.
The technology includes a so-called lidar instrument that will allow Canadian scientists to study dust and clouds in the Mars atmosphere within a 20-kilometre radius of the planet.
The lidar -- an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging -- will send a beam into the atmosphere that will scatter particles and be reflected back to sensors in the weather station, giving scientists an idea of how Martian weather works.
"We are actually contributing quite a significant chunk to the mission," Tim Cole, spokesperson for the Canada Science and Technology Museum, told CTV Newsnet Monday afternoon.
He added that Phoenix's lidar instrument is "going to give us an indication of how the atmosphere is put together, what's in the atmosphere, (and information about) cloud formation."
This NASA image was taken by the Phoenix on its second sol, or Mars day, May 27, 2008.