White plume of a dust devil half a mile above Mars’s surface

   Photo taken by HiRISE camera aboard NASA/s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on February 16, 2012 

 reported by Discovery News     March 8, 2012

Despite the thinness of air on Mars, it’s till capable of carrying dust aloft in the right conditions.

As spring arrives in Mars’s northern hemisphere, increased solar energy heats the surface, creating rising columns of warm air.  The warm air picks up the fine Martian soil carries it with the prevailing wind.  Depending on the underlying material, it leaves light or dark trails in their wakes.


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