The latest image shot by the HiRISE camera displays a “dust devil” on the Mars. A team of researchers from the University of Arizona caught the glimpse back in October 2019 with the orbiter’s HiRISE camera and launched the photo to the public only last Monday.
The so-called ‘dust devil’ observed in the picture is almost 50 meters broad and a staggering 650 meters tall, according to Sharon Wilson, one of the researchers. The whirlwind and its obscuration are noticeable because the Red Planet has no clouds.
“Dust devils are rotating columns of dust that form around low-pressure air pockets, and are common on both Earth and Mars. This Martian dust devil formed on the dust-covered, volcanic plains of Amazonis Planitia,” Wilson detailed.
Dust Devil Whirls on Mars and the Work of HiRISE
Dust devils are created when the hot surface produces a towering column of increasing, whirling air, which transports particles and dust high above the ground. They vary from hurricanes in that hurricanes need a storm cloud to develop. NASA landers and the spaceship have encountered a few remarkable moments with dust devils over the years.
As for HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment), its work was fantastically done. It captured hundreds of targeted parts of Mars’ ground in great detail. The camera functions in visible wavelengths, similar to human eyes, but utilizing a telescopic lens that makes pictures at different resolutions in planetary travel projects. These high-resolution photos allow astronomers to identify 1-meter-dimension, approximately 3-foot-size things on Mars, and to analyze the morphology in great detail.
HiRISE also realized observations at near-infrared wavelengths to gather details on the mineral assemblies present. From a height that differs from 200 to 400 kilometers above the Red Planet, HiRISE shot ground photos of 1 to 2 feet wide pixel elements, letting ground features 4 to 8 feet across to be solved.