In recent years, Mars has become the object of increasing attention by astronomers and scientists. The Red Planet hides many mysteries, one of which is the giant vortices known as dust devils. NASA astronomers recently obtained a detailed image of one of these vortices, which will help them better understand the nature of this phenomenon.
The image was taken in Mariner Valley using the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Martian orbiter. The image shows a giant dust devil crossing the Martian plateau. The shadows in the image allow scientists to estimate the height of the vortex, which is believed to be as high as 20 kilometers.
Dust devils are common on Mars, but they are still a mystery to the scientific community. Researchers believe that these vortices are formed by hot surfaces found in arid regions of the planet. Such surfaces are covered with dust and have variable temperatures throughout the day. Therefore, they are ideal conditions for the formation of dust vortices.
On Earth, dust vortices form in a similar way. Solar energy heats the earth, the air begins to rise in columns, and if the column rotates, it can taper and rotate faster. As long as there is hot air below, the dust vortices can exist. However, if they stop moving or move over the colder ground, they dissipate.
It is interesting to note that analogs of Martian dust devils can also be observed on Earth. They are regularly recorded in the Mojave Desert. This suggests that Earth and Mars have similar characteristics of their dust vortices.
In addition, atmospheric pressure and the angle between the planet’s axis of rotation and its orbital axis also influence the formation of dust vortices. Given that Mars and Earth have different axial tilt and the atmospheric pressure on Earth is higher than on Mars, this represents another mystery for scientists.
Dust devils not only alter the surface of Mars and leave streaks on its surface, but also contribute to the dust in the Martian atmosphere. This is an important factor for the weather and atmospheric heating on the planet. They can also sweep dust off the solar panels of spacecraft such as Mars Exploration Rovers.
The study of dust devils on Mars is an important step in the study of this enigmatic planet. The findings will help scientists better understand the nature of these vortices and their effects on Mars’ climate and atmosphere.