NASA’s Perseverance Rover Encounters a Dust Devil on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Encounters a Dust Devil on Mars
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Back in February, each of these three countries landed a rover on Mars: the USA, the UAE, and China. Astronomers learn more about our neighbouring planet year by year, and there’s no telling when they will stop. Any data gathered can be precious, as officials of agencies such as SpaceX realistically hope to see astronauts on the Red Planet in the near future.

But until we’ll get that enormous privilege of living during the same time with the first humans who will land on Mars, we are free to amaze and amuse ourselves with the latest news about the rovers that are already exploring the Red Planet’s surface.

A dust devil is crossing Mars’ Jezero Crater

Space.com reveals that engineers who are in charge of the Perseverance mission saw a whirlwind in images captured by a camera mounted on the rover. Although there’s no info yet regarding the size and speed of the ‘dust devil’, NASA published footage of the structure.

Dust devils can occur on both Mars and our planet. These whirlwinds are usually harmless, but they can sometimes grow large enough to become a threat. Dust devils aren’t too lasting, either, and they range from small (from half a meter wide to a few meters tall) to large (over 10 metres wide and more than one kilometre tall). Although dust devils are comparable to tornadoes, there is at least a significant difference between the two phenomenons. As dust devils form under sunny conditions during fair weather, they rarely come close to a tornado’s intensity.

As we’ve written in a previous article, scientists are proposing a new theory explaining the disappearance of the large amounts of water from ancient Mars. They claim that a significant part of that water got trapped inside minerals that are buried below the crust of our neighbouring planet.

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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