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NASA spots meandering dust devil dancing on the dunes of Mars

By on April 7, 2021 0

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught this lucky sight of a dust devil on the Red Planet.

NASA / JPL / UArizona

Mars is a pretty busy planet when it comes to mixing wind and dust. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft captured a lucky photo of a spectacular dust devil meandering through an expanse of dunes.

University of Arizona MRO HiRise Camera Team shared the swirling beauty as pic of the day on Thursday.

The image was a fluke. “While the main goal of this dune sighting in a crater north of Antoniadi Crater is to track changes over time, HiRise often captures nature in action,” the HiRise team said. “In this case, it’s a well-defined dust devil moving through the dunes, leaving in its wake exposed and darker underground material.”

The specialists at HiRise also shared a larger view of where the Dust Devil was leaving his tracks. This shows how subtle they can appear when viewed from orbit on Mars.

This perspective shot shows the larger area where the MRO saw a heck of dust. The tourbillon is marked with a yellow circle.

NASA / JPL / UArizona

The MRO returns loads of pictures, so the HiRise team is running a picture of the day feature to share some of the highlights. The Dust Devil has been discovered hidden in a wider view of the landscape from January 2020.

NASA might like one of these dust devils to appear near the Mars InSight lander, the space agency’s stationary explorer on the planet. InSight was recently put into limited operations mode because of the dust covering its solar panels. A good swirl can help clean some dust off the berries.

The newest resident of Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover, may have a chance to catch its own dust devils. The two deceased Opportunity rover and still functioning The Curiosity rover took its own pictures dramatic swirls.

To follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to yours Google calendar.


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