Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Dust Devil of Mars
Posted on 04/12/2012 9:44:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: It was late in the northern martian spring when the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied this local denizen. Tracking south and east (down and right) across the flat, dust-covered Amazonis Planitia the core of the whirling dust devil is about 30 meters in diameter. Lofting dust into the thin martian atmosphere, its plume reaches more than 800 meters above the surface. Not following the path of the dust devil, the plume is blown toward the east by a westerly breeze. Common in this region, dust devils occur as the surface is heated by the Sun, generating warm, rising air currents that begin to rotate. Tangential wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour are reported for dust devils in other HiRISE images.
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Looks like a giant worm is turning
Nice. Thanks for the post.
At first glance it does look like smoke, but if that were the case there would be a shadow that matched the shape of the smoke trail.
Several dust devils cross a plain in this animation of a series of images acquired by NASA's Mars Rover Spirit in May, 2005. (NASA/JPL-Caltec)
That is REALLY cool (I’ve been watching it for a few minutes now, contemplating that this is from another planet, the technology, the millions of years that this has been happening and now we get to see it, the similarities and differences between the two planets, etc.
I was doing some studies in New Mexico years ago and had a dot-matrix printer with a stack of the z-fold paper/ perforated paper behind it. A dust devil came right through me and my set-up. I covered up the laptop and other gear the best I could. After it was gone I watched it move away with about 20’ of paper flapping around inside of it!
Ya know - the more I look at your animation, I think I caught a glimpse of a desert pod racer creating one of those plumes!
A well-defined dust devil crosses in front of the camera in this animation of a series of images acquired by NASA's Mars Rover Spirit in May, 2005. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/USGS)
Clouds above the rim of "Endurance Crater" in this image from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. These clouds occur in a region of strong vertical shear. The cloud particles (ice in this martian case) fall out, and get dragged along away from the location where they originally condensed, forming characteristic streamers. Opportunity took this picture with its navigation camera during the rover's 269th martian day (Oct. 26, 2004). (NASA/JPL)
Ya see, they ARE desert pod racers - heading back the other way!
And the photo and explanation of the clouds is cool. Is that ice of some sort on the ground?
Looking at these photos is amazing - sure come a long ways from “canals on Mars”. They almost make it seem like perhaps someday we could inhabit Mars.
This color image was acquired by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on the 25th day of the mission, or Sol 24 (June 19, 2008).
The trench, called "Dodo-Goldilocks," is lacking lumps of ice seen previously in the lower left corner. The ice sublimated, a process similar to evaporation, over the course of four days.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University
I think that is the path of the twister, not its shadow.
I got hit by a terrestrial version of that.
WHILE I was riding my Harley.
A very bizarre experience.
When I go there, I’m taking my hangglider!
Re #13: Who was running the bulldozer?
GREAT JOB! Thanks! Bookmarked.
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