Newest from NASA Mars The rover captured a significant alien sighting when an onboard camera detected a dust devil from the Red Planet crossing the Jezero crater.
Engineers in the Rover perseverance The mission saw the whirlwind in the distance from images captured by one of the rover’s cameras as dust made its way behind the rover’s robotic arm. NASA released images of the dust devil, but has not released estimates of its size or speed.
“I saw a dust demon. You can see it in the distance behind my robotic arm in this enhanced / processed view. The dust demon moves from right to left and creates dust whirlwinds in its path”, representatives of the Perseverance mission wrote in a tweet Tuesday night (March 16).
Related: Where to find the latest photos of Mars from NASA’s Perseverance rover
Saw a dust devil. You can see it in the distance behind my robotic arm in this enhanced / processed view. The dust devil moves from right to left and creates dust whirlwinds on his way. pic.twitter.com/t18DxdcSTwMarch 16, 2021
As you can see in this enhanced video from Space.com (which includes audio obtained earlier in the mission), the Dust Devil moves from right to left, starting at the far right of the animation. Perseverance only landed on Mars on February 18 and has spent approximately 25 Red Planet days, called “suns,” on the surface.
Dust demons they happen both on Earth and on the Red Planet. These rotating columns of air become visible from the dirt they lift from the ground. On Earth, dust eddies usually form on clear days when the ground receives a lot of heat from the sun. Under the right circumstances, hot air near the surface can begin to spin as it rises through small segments of cooler air higher up.
Mars is coming aphelion, when it is farthest in its orbit from the sun, but it is clear that solar energy is still strong enough to create dust swirls. And scientists have seen aphelion dust devils before: During the aphelion of 2012, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter saw a relatively colossal dust demon at 2,600 feet (800 meters) high and 98 feet (30 meters) in diameter. That spacecraft’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera even saw a swarm of dust devils in 2015.
In fact, spaceships as old as Viking missions of the 1970s I’ve seen swirls of dust But because phenomena are fleeting, missions sometimes have to wait many years to detect one. NASA opportunity I didn’t see a dust devil until 2010, approximately seven years after his mission. Its sister vehicle, Spirit, captured a amazing dust devils video racing across the surface as a group in 2005, roughly two years after the duo’s Mars Exploration Rover mission.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.