National & World News

NASA Has Unprecedented View of Mars Dust Storm

These images of Mars released by NASA in 2001 show a dust storm similar to one developing now. At left is the planet in natural color, as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The one on the right shows how a global dust storm engulfed Mars with the onset of Martian spring. (NASA)

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and two planet-based explorers are  tracking a massive dust storm, offering scientists an opportunity to study the planet’s weather like none they’ve had before.

The regional dust storm was first spotted on Nov. 10 in the Red Planet’s southern hemisphere. Though the storm is considered only “regional,” it’s big enough that it has lowered air pressure on either side of the planet and increased temperatures on the opposite pole by changing the atmosphere’s circulation.

Scientists are waiting to see whether it will develop into a “dust haze” that will engulf the entire planet.

Read more at latimes.com

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