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Perseverance captured the dust devil on Mars!  Watch the video

Perseverance captured the dust devil on Mars! Watch the video

The dust devil on Mars moved at 19 km/h: it was 2 kilometers high and 60 meters wide (these are shadow-based estimates). Footage recorded by Perseverance

A Martian dust devil was captured moving along the western rim of Jezero Crater on Mars by NASA's Perseverance rover on August 30, 2023, the 899th Sol, or Martian day, of the mission. The video, sped up 20 times and which you can find at the end of the article, consists of 21 frames captured four seconds apart by one of the rover's navigation cameras (shown twice). Much weaker and generally smaller than terrestrial hurricanes, dust devils are one of the natural phenomena that move and redistribute dust around Mars. Scientists study it to better understand the Martian atmosphere and improve their weather models.

Location relative to the rover

Persevere Marty Dust Devil
Credit: NASA

Using image data, mission scientists determined that this dust devil was located about 4 kilometers away perseveranceAt a location called Thorofare Ridge, it was moving east to west at about 19 miles per hour. They calculated that it was about 60 meters wide. Although only the bottom 118 meters of the vortex is visible in the camera frame, Scientists were also able to estimate its entire height at about 2 km.

Dust devils on the ground

Dust devils, which also occur on Earth, form when rising cells of warm air mix with descending columns of cold air. Martian versions can grow much larger than those on Earth. Although they are most visible during the spring and summer months (the northern hemisphere of Mars, where Perseverance is located, is currently summer), Scientists cannot predict when they will appear in a particular place. Below is the video:

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Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech