Massive Dust Storm Developing on Mars

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Friday, June 29, 2018
moving image showing darkening dust storm
A massive dust storm is developing on Mars.

The storm is larger than North America and most of northeastern Asia combined.

According to Bruce Cantor, deputy principal investigator of the Mars Color Imager camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a "planet-encircling" (or "global") dust event.

Martian dust storms are common, especially during southern hemisphere spring and summer, when the planet is closest to the Sun.

In some cases, the dust clouds reach up to 60 kilometers or more in elevation.

Though they are common, Martian dust storms typically stay contained to a local area. By contrast, the current storm, if it were happening on Earth, would cover the area of North America and Russia combined.



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