Dust Devils

Are Dust Devils Whirling Around the Curiosity Rover?

by Nancy Atkinson November 16, 2012

In this latest update from the MSL team, Ashwin Vasavada, the Deputy Project Scientist, explains how Curiosity has been monitoring the winds and radiation levels in Gale Crater. Curiosity has also been looking for dust devils — the small dust storms that have been seen by other spacecraft as they whirl around Mars. While Curiosity […]

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Could Dust Devils Create Methane in Mars’ Atmosphere?

by Nancy Atkinson September 10, 2012

Methane on Mars has long perplexed scientists; the short-lived gas has been measured in surprising quantities in Mars’ atmosphere over several seasons, sometimes in fairly large plumes. Scientists have taken this to be evidence of Mars being an ‘active’ planet, either geologically or biologically. But a group of researchers from Mexico have come up with […]

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Mars’ Giant Dust Devil in Motion

by Nancy Atkinson April 5, 2012

The folk at JPL have kindly put together an animation of the gigantic Martian dust devil spotted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The dust devil is roughly 20 kilometers (12 miles) high, churning through the Amazonis Planitia region of northern Mars, and this shows what the tall but thin dust devil would look like if […]

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New Gigantic Tornado Spotted on Mars

by Nancy Atkinson April 4, 2012

Last month, we were excited to share an image of a twister on Mars that lofted a twisting column of dust more than 800 meters (about a half a mile) high. We now know that’s nothin’ — just peanuts, chump change, hardly worth noticing. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has now spotted a gigantic Martian dust […]

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Twister on Mars: The Movie

by Nancy Atkinson March 20, 2012

As we reported earlier this month, The HiRISE camera captured a tornado in action on Mars, and this dramatic new video put together by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides new insights showing we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore! Nancy Atkinson on Google+

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