A massive dust storm has descended on Mars, surrounding the Opportunity rover in a blanket of dark dust that's estimated to be bigger than the entire North America. With the rover running on solar power, the storm is a huge threat to its survival.
A new study has found that dust storms (which carries beneficial nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron) could positively affect the biogeochemical cycle in downwind sea regions, boost marine life productivity, and decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) predicts that a major dust storm will hit Mars in the next few weeks that might limit the solar energy used by Martian rovers Curiosity and Opportunity.
Data from different Mars orbiters were studied by scientists to find out the behavior of Martian dust storms. From the study, it was observed that dust storms occur on a regular basis on spring and summer.