A NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars has bizarre claw marks on the planet’s surface, revealing more details about a weather event.
Images collected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show tracks of dusty devils across the cliffs of Gal Crater – also known as the “Happy Face Crater” due to the location of mountain clusters.
The dust demons on Mars were first discovered by Viking Orbiter in 1975 and have since been studied to understand the climate of Mars.
“Dust demons on Mars, such as on Earth, are vortices that are created by warming in the light of the sun and increase the heat of the air heated above the earth,” NASA explained.
“Observations of Martian dust devils provide information about wind direction and interaction between the surface and the atmosphere.”
Unlike tornadoes, dust mites occur on sunny days and are not usually associated with storms.
NASA had previously seen dust up to a height of 20 km.
The latest images were captured in September 2018 but have just been released by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Abnormal formations are the result of a whirlpool of dust beneath light surface dust that is rotated by a whirlpool.
“Our goal is to observe the dark dusty devil tracks on the bright hills that have a strange distribution in the gale crater,” the description of the images on the University of Arizona website states.
“Looking at the hills, the fountain winds down (striking or layering?) And the southern hills fall. “
Scientists studying the dust devil can inform about the changes in the surface of Mars and give indications of weather patterns.
Understanding how dust can be removed from the surface, where and where mounds can be formed, allows space agencies and agencies to establish more advanced landing sites and even potential areas for future colonization.
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