The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Mars dust devil trails

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day: Martian Dust Devil Trails

Credit: x

Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

The APOD description for this image:

Who’s been marking up Mars? This portion of a recent high-resolution picture from the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows twisting dark trails criss-crossing light colored terrain on the martian surface. Newly formed trails like these had presented researchers with a tantalizing martian mystery but are now known to be the work of miniature wind vortices known to occur on the red planet – martian dust devils. Such spinning columns of rising air heated by the warm surface are also common in dry and desert areas on planet Earth. Typically lasting only a few minutes, dust devils becoming visible as they pick up loose red-colored dust leaving the darker and heavier sand beneath intact. On Mars, dust devils can be up to 8 kilometers high. Dust devils have been credited with unexpected cleanings of mars rover solar panels.

Go to APOD for a higher resolution image. You’ll be glad you did.

Grace and Peace

October 21, 2009 - Posted by | Astronomy, Geology |

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