What Are Martian Dust Devils? What Did Nasa Discover About Them? Find Out Here
NASA's Perseverance rover encountered a breezy whoosh last September when a dust devil on Mars hovered past it. The sound captured of it is released now in the journal Nature Communications this week. The latest data revealed from the Perseverance is the sound from an unexpected encounter with a dust devil.
The rover features microphones and cameras to record sights and sounds on Mars. Understanding how the dust devils work can lead to a huge leap to understand the Martian system for future space exploration and human trips to Mars.
What Are Dust Devils?
- The Martian Dust devils on Mars are very common. They look like a mini-tornado on the surface, swirling dust on land.
- Occurring primarily during the day they are driven by convection in the wispy layers of the atmosphere from the distant sun.
- The Perseverance rover landed in that area of the Jezero Crater, last year where these convective vortices are especially common.
- Martian dust devils can be up to fifty times as wide and ten times as high as terrestrial dust devils, and large ones may pose a threat to terrestrial technology sent to Mars.
What is the purpose of a Dust Devil?
- The Dust Devil plays a pivotal role in the mix-up and dispersion of heat, dust, and surface minerals on the planet, and are indicators of atmospheric turbulence.
- While studying these Dust Devils planetary scientists can also simulate these weather phenomena and predict dust storms on Mars.
- Through these one can also comprehend how hardware on robots on Mars will last and function.
History of the Dust Devils
- It was in the 1970s that the first Martian dust devils were first photographed by Viking orbiters.
- The Mars Pathfinder lander detected a dust devil passing over it In 1997.
- In 2016, on 7 November five such dust devils hovering in the Martian southern hemisphere, ranging in height from 0.5 to 1.9 km were captured in a single observation by the Mars Orbiter Mission.
- on March 12, 2005, mission members monitoring the Spirit rover on Mars reported that an encounter with a dust devil had cleaned the solar panels of that robot.