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Dust Storms on Mars Observed From Six Martian Years Worth of Data

Jun 13, 2016 03:56 AM EDT

Mars is revealing itself to mankind, one anomaly at a time. It was proven by NASA scientists that weather patterns exist on the red planet. Other studies suggest there were tsunamis and frozen dunes on its surface. Some also suggest the existence of iron and calcium rich carbonates beneath the surface of Mars.

A recent study by NASA says that dust storms occur in the planet's atmosphere. It turns out Mars is not just windy on The Martian movie, but in real life as well.


The graphic presented shows the atmosphere temperature data, which visibly curtains over the surface of Mars during a dust storm. NASA identified the clearest pattern by measuring the temperature of Mars' atmosphere. The Mars orbiters recorded the Martian temperature for six Martian years, once compared the data revealed three types of dust storms, which usually occurs in spring and summer.

"When we look at the temperature structure instead of the visible dust, we finally see some regularity in the large dust storms," said David Kass of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a press release.

According to the findings, published in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters, recognizing a pattern of the dust storms is valuable for future studies.

"Recognizing a pattern in the occurrence of regional dust storms is a step toward understanding the fundamental atmospheric properties controlling them," Kass said in a statement published by Daily Mail.

From the report, it was established that the dust behavior is highly dependent on temperature. The sun heats up the dusty air more than clean air.

The findings are derived from studying the data beamed back by Mars orbiters including the Mars Climate Sounder aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer on Mars Global Surveyor. The orbiters arrived on Mars in different time and setting. The study compared the findings of different orbiters to arrive at their findings.

Most of the Martian dust storms are about 1,200 miles, and dissipates within a few days. In 1997, global dust storms fully covered Mars, according to a report.


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