Skip to comments.12-mile-high Martian dust devil caught in act
Posted on 04/05/2012 7:31:35 AM PDT by Red Badger
A Martian dust devil roughly 12 miles high (20 kilometers) was captured whirling its way along the Amazonis Planitia region of Northern Mars on March 14. It was imaged by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Despite its height, the plume is little more than three-quarters of a football field wide (70 yards, or 70 meters).
Dust devils occur on Earth as well as on Mars. They are spinning columns of air, made visible by the dust they pull off the ground. Unlike a tornado, a dust devil typically forms on a clear day when the ground is heated by the sun, warming the air just above the ground. As heated air near the surface rises quickly through a small pocket of cooler air above it, the air may begin to rotate, if conditions are just right.
The image was taken during late northern spring, two weeks short of the northern summer solstice, a time when the ground in the northern mid-latitudes is being heated most strongly by the sun.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been examining the Red Planet with six science instruments since 2006. Now in an extended mission, the orbiter continues to provide insights into the planet's ancient environments and how processes such as wind, meteorite impacts and seasonal frosts continue to affect the Martian surface today. This mission has returned more data about Mars than all other orbital and surface missions combined.
More than 21,700 images taken by HiRISE are available for viewing on the instrument team's website: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu . Each observation by this telescopic camera covers several square miles, or square kilometers, and can reveal features as small as a desk.
More information: For more about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, see http://www.nasa.gov/mro
Provided by JPL/NASA
A Martian dust devil roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) high was captured winding its way along the Amazonis Planitia region of Northern Mars on March 14, 2012 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Despite its height, the plume is little more than three-quarters of a football field wide (70 yards, or 70 meters). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA
OOPS! Forgot link!.........
Our little biosphere is quite special.
Dang! We are causing global warming there to!
This is fake. The dust devil doesn’t have any grocery bags, picnic plates or styrofoam cups in it.
A dust devil has to be kicked up by atmospheric activity. The particles in the atmosphere must have sufficient mass and velocity to impart some or all of their momentum to the dust. But the atmosphere of Mars at its surface would appear to be about one 1700th of the mass of ours by volume and so seem insufficient in mass to me to kick anything up.
I would think that the ‘dust’ would be RED.................
And not a mobile home on the planet. It just seems such a waste.
Where is the semi, up a couple a hunnerd feet in the air?
The speeds are quite high. Shooting stars come to mind for the skeptic. Mars looks like a huge mine to me.
“Mars has two permanent polar ice caps. During a pole’s winter, it lies in continuous darkness, chilling the surface and causing the deposition of 2530% of the atmosphere into slabs of CO2 ice (dry ice). When the poles are again exposed to sunlight, the frozen CO2 sublimes, creating enormous winds that sweep off the poles as fast as 400 km/h. These seasonal actions transport large amounts of dust and water vapor, giving rise to Earth-like frost and large cirrus clouds. Clouds of water-ice were photographed by the Opportunity rover in 2004.
“Mars also has the largest dust storms in our Solar System. These can vary from a storm over a small area, to gigantic storms that cover the entire planet. They tend to occur when Mars is closest to the Sun, and have been shown to increase the global temperature.” —Wikipedia
Perhaps this is a better explanation than what NASA supplies:
In the Electric Universe theory, no collisions from bouncing sand grains are necessary. Charge separation already exists in the atmosphere. Without clouds like those on Earth to send lightning down to ground level, the electric discharges on Mars form giant whirlwinds that are part of an interplanetary electrical circuit.
It is that same circuit that drives weather systems on Earth. If this is true, then Martian dust devils and those on Earth are both illustrations of how electricity behaves in the solar system.
By Stephen Smith
I would have thought it would be too cold for dust devils
Remember a hot August day last year when dust devils
crossed and recrossed a raked hay field.Those windrows
standing up were a hoot to look at.
My `ol lady was kinda put out having to re-rake tho
Dorothy and Toto are MIA as well. Obviously a fake. Someone page Richard Hoagland. He'll get it all cleared up.
It isn't the heat per se but rather the temperature differential which fosters the formation of dust devils.
I sat in a west Oklahoma Pizza Hut watching what I then thought was a large dust devil dance around a field. Guess I was wrong; it didn’t come anywhere close to 12 miles high. Gak.
Tornadoes have been observed to have and electrical component and may be a form of plasma discharge to the upper atmosphere occurring at a much slower rate than lightning.
Maybe it was related to the hybrid Tasmanian Devil/Rock Eater? (Rocky Tasmanian Devil Eater?) (Eating Tasmanian Rock Devil?)
I blame these guys...
They look like girly-boys to me...
Mars is not part of O'Reilly's "no-spin" zone.
Yet another reason why Venus is a better place to colonize. Even a twelve-mile high dust devil would still be twenty-three miles below the basement.