Scientists have tracked the evolution of eight dust storms on Mars that have arisen at the North Pole of this planet. It is believed that they can become the biggest problem of future colonists.
According to the ESA, planetologists observed the emergence and disappearance of new storms, which persisted for several days and disappeared. Photos of researchers will help find out why once every three years, Mars cover powerful storms.
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Dust storms on Mars are very frequent. As demonstrated by the pictures taken by the Mars Global Surveyor probe, it is this climate phenomenon that poses the greatest threat to future colonists. A similar storm destroyed the Opportunity rover last summer. For researchers of the planet, it is important to find out how they arise, whether it is possible to anticipate their appearance and how to protect themselves from them.
The new "storm season" began on Mars in late May. During this period, relatively small dust turbulence arose at the north pole. Then the Mars-Express probe, which is observing the birth of Martian storms since arriving at the planetary orbit in 2003, recorded the appearance of as many as eight vortices that disappeared in a few days.
The researchers observed an interesting effect – the Martian clouds, moving closer to the whirlwinds, instantly disappeared. Scientists believe that the reason for the large amount of heat generated by dust storms. As a result, the ice crystals that make up the Martian clouds quickly evaporate.