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NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:03 pm

One of the thickest dust storms ever observed on Mars has been spreading for the past week and a half. The storm has caused NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations, but also offers a window for four other spacecraft to learn from the swirling dust.

NASA has three orbiters circling the Red Planet, each equipped with special cameras and other atmospheric instruments. Additionally, NASA's Curiosity rover has begun to see an increase in dust at its location in Gale Crater.

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Post by Dragon Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:06 pm

NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science Zurek-1-pia22519-1200
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This set of images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a fierce dust storm is kicking up on Mars, with rovers on the surface indicated as icons

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NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:07 pm

NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science Zurek-2-main-pia22520_mastcam_side-by-side
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

These two views from NASA’s Curiosity rover, acquired specifically to measure the amount of dust inside Gale Crater, show that dust has increased over three days from a major Martian dust storm. The left-hand image shows a view of the east-northeast rim of Gale Crater on June 7, 2018 (Sol 2074); the right-hand image shows a view of the same feature on June 10, 2018 (Sol 2077). The images were taken by the rover’s Mastcam.

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NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:09 pm

NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science Callas-1-pia22521_sky1b
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/TAMU

This series of images shows simulated views of a darkening Martian sky blotting out the Sun from NASA’s Opportunity rover’s point of view, with the right side simulating Opportunity’s current view in the global dust storm (June 2018).

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Post by Dragon Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:11 pm



The storm is one of the most intense ever observed on the Red Planet. As of June 10, it covered more than 15.8 million square miles (41 million square kilometers) -- about the area of North America and Russia combined.

It has blocked out so much sunlight, it has effectively turned day into night for Opportunity, which is located near the center of the storm, inside Mars' Perseverance Valley.


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Post by Dragon Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:12 pm



Mega Dust Storms | MARS


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