Latest Dust devil Stories
NASA announced on Thursday during a teleconference that its Curiosity rover has experienced its first whirlwind on Mars.
An afternoon whirlwind on Mars lofts a twisting column of dust more than half a mile (800 meters) high in an image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
In its six-and-a-half years on Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity had never seen a dust devil before this month.
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has photographed several dust devils dancing across the arctic plain this week and sensed a dip in air pressure as one passed near the lander.
The solar energy of sunshine heats the desert floor. Heat rises thence as plumes of hot air (this is what makes the desert scene wavy) that heat the bottom few meters of the atmosphere. That layer of heated air is gravitationally unstable.
Sweeping sands across the Sahara and other dune expanses are blown by more than just wind, scientists have discovered.
Two robots the size of golf carts were given 90 days to squeeze as much science as possible from the barren, dust-swept terrain of Mars.
If a human with perfect vision donned a spacesuit and stepped onto the martian surface, the view would be as clear as this sweeping panorama taken by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. That's because the rover's panoramic camera has the equivalent of 20-20 vision.
- A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.