Recent Mars and Earth Dust Storms Compared
October 28, 2003
In this figure, we compare a recent dust storm on Mars with one that occurred earlier this year on Earth. The top image shows a martian north polar dust storm observed on 29 August 2000. This image is part of the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global map--a low resolution, two-color view of Mars acquired from pole to pole every orbit. The storm is moving as a front, outward from a central "jet," and marginal "vortices" can be seen. In this image it extends about 900 km (560 mi) out from the north polar seasonal frost cap. The region on the right side of the Mars picture includes the north pole. The bottom image shows a terrestrial dust storm, seen in a SeaWiFS image, acquired on 26 February 2000. This storm exends about 1800 km (1100 mi) off the coast of northwest Africa near the Earth's equator. Both images are shown at the same scale; 4 km (2.5 mi) per pixel.