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Dust Storms Linked to Gas Escape from Mars Atmosphere

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Dust Storms Linked to Gas Escape from Mars Atmosphere

Post by Dragon on Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:19 am

Some Mars experts are eager and optimistic for a dust storm this year to grow so grand it darkens skies around the entire Red Planet.

This biggest type of phenomenon in the environment of modern Mars could be examined as never before possible, using the combination of spacecraft now at Mars.

A study published this week based on observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) during the most recent Martian global dust storm -- in 2007 -- suggests such storms play a role in the ongoing process of gas escaping from the top of Mars' atmosphere. That process long ago transformed wetter, warmer ancient Mars into today's arid, frozen planet.

"We found there's an increase in water vapor in the middle atmosphere in connection with dust storms," said Nicholas Heavens of Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, lead author of the report in Nature Astronomy. "Water vapor is carried up with the same air mass rising with the dust."

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Re: Dust Storms Linked to Gas Escape from Mars Atmosphere

Post by Dragon on Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:21 am


Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Two 2001 images from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter show a dramatic change in the planet's appearance when haze raised by dust-storm activity in the south became globally distributed. The images were taken about a month apart.

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Re: Dust Storms Linked to Gas Escape from Mars Atmosphere

Post by Dragon on Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:22 am


Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Hampton Univ.

Rising air during a 2007 global dust storm on Mars lofted water vapor into the planet's middle atmosphere, researchers learned from data derived from observations by the Mars Climate Sounder instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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Re: Dust Storms Linked to Gas Escape from Mars Atmosphere

Post by Dragon on Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:23 am



Mars may not have hurricanes or blizzards, but that doesn’t mean it is without nasty storms. The orb’s winds and dusty surface sometimes combine to create events that are intense enough to conceal the entire planet from view.

 
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