Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Dust Devils of Mars | NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Dust Devils of Mars | NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

This image shows gorgeous swirls on sand dunes created by dust devils that expose the darker subsurface. Dr. Ken Edgett, a staff scientist at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California, describes a dust devil as follows: "A dust devil is something that happens both on Earth and on Mars and looks somewhat like a mini-tornado. As with tornadoes, dust devils are spinning columns of air. Such a column is called a vortex—you might see the same effect when you let water run down a bathtub drain . . . Unlike tornadoes, dust devils aren't usually associated with storms." 

These dust devil tracks were captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument. 

The scene is located in the center of an ancient impact crater to the west of the Isidis basin in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars. 

Image is less than 5 km (3 mi) across and is 285 km (177 mi) above the surface. 

Malin Space Science Systems built the Mars Color Imager (MARCI), Context Camera (CTX) systems for MRO.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Release Date: July 20, 2022

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