Watch How Mars Dust Storm Covers The Entire Planet

Posted: Jul 20 2018, 6:29am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 20 2018, 6:36am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Watch How Mars Dust Storm Covers the Entire Planet
Credit: NASA/JPL

Side-by-side movies by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how dust has enveloped the Red Planet

A massive dust storm has engulfed Mars over the past few weeks. The storm is one of the most intense ever observed on the planet and is officially a global dust event. A latest video by NASA shows side by side comparisons of the planet before and after the storm and reveals how the recent dust event ballooned into a planet-encircling storm in a matter of days. The video is created using Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

“The view from May shows Valles Marineris chasms (left), Meridiani center, an autumn dust storm in Acidalia (top) and the early spring south polar cap (bottom). The view from July shows the same regions, but most of the surface was obscured by the planet-encircling dust cloud and haze.” NASA statement said

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NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter first detected Mars dust storm on May 30. Since then, the storm has grown in size and it now covers almost the entire planet. Thick haze of dust particles from storm has blocked out so much sunlight that it has virtually turned day into night for Mars Opportunity rover and affected its science operations. Opportunity rover, one of the two current Mars rovers, is powered by sunlight. Without sunlight, the rover will not be able to generate enough power to keep itself warm and operate.

Dust storms occur frequently on Mars. Occasionally, local storms transform into regional storms and even expand until they engulf the entire planet. Mars storms usually occur during the southern spring and summer when Mars is closest to the sun. As the atmosphere warms, intense winds lift the dust off of the ground and cover the planet with thick haze. It can take weeks or even months for the dust to settle.

Using both Earth-based telescopes and spacecraft orbiting Mars, scientists have been tracking global dust storms on Mars for decades. Studying these dust storms can help researchers more accurately model the atmospheric conditions on Mars.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir. With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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