Mars is a dusty and windy world,media CNET reported. When both conditions are in place, they may lead to the emergence of Mars “dust demons”. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has captured rare images of one of the unfolding dust demons. The MrO HiRise camera team at the University of Arizona shared this fascinating photo on Monday.
“There are several HiRise images that record traces of the dust demon, but rarely capture how it moves,” wrote Sharon Wilson, a member of the MRO team. The spacecraft took this photo in early October 2019.
Wilson estimates that the dust core is about 164 feet (50 meters) in diameter. The long shadow of the cyclone indicates that its plume extends more than 2,100 feet (640 meters) into the sky.
The broad field of view of the HiRise camera helps to cast dust demons into the shadow of Amazonis Planitia throughout the plains.
MRO is not the only Mars robot looking for the dust devil. In 2016, the Opportunity Mars rover captured a beautiful view of the dust demon’s surface.