March 15, 2022

Mars Rover Captures Beautiful Natural Phenomenon on Camera

For a planet that is supposedly devoid of life, Mars can still spark wonder in humans, especially with its naturally occurring phenomena, and also because a little robot stationed on the Red Planet caught one such weather event.

Last Monday, 7 March, NASA’s Perseverance rover captured several images of three mini-twisters – colloquially known as “dust devils”, which are common on Mars – as they slowly crept along the planet’s dusty surface.

Dust devils are short-lived, strong vertical whirlwinds that form from updrafts of hot wind that gather to form columns. They can often vary in height and duration, but they never reach the intensity of tornadoes.

Perseverance took photos of the dust devil trio over a 30-minute period, which were noticed by engineer Kevin M. Gill. Then, Gill took the time to process the raw images, and put together a brief video to demonstrate their movements.

He shared the final product with Twitter that same day, and tweeps shared their own experiences with dust devils on Earth.

These time lapses are handy for researchers who can track weather patterns and learn more about Mars’ surface, such as determining how certain craters and mountains are formed.

Image Credit: Source