Dust Storms of 2001
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Dust Storms of 2001

October 28, 2003
Late in June 2001, as southern winter transitioned to spring, dust storm activity began to pick up as cold air from the south polar cap moved northward toward the warmer air at the martian equator. By early July, dust storms had popped up all over the planet, particularly throughout the southern hemisphere and in the Elysium/Amazonis regions of the northern hemisphere. Soon, the entire planet--except the south polar cap--was enshrouded in dust. Similar storms have occurred before. For example, the planet was obscured by dust when the Mariner 9, Mars 2, and Mars 3 spacecraft reached the planet in late 1971. The MGS MOC images showed the evolution of the 2001 great dust storm period. There was never a time when the entire planet was in the midst of a single storm.

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