- Status Report
- Nov 26, 2022
NASA Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Southern Dust Devils
Context image credit: NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
[ Find on map: CGI version ]
Full data on this image has now been released via the THEMIS Data Releases website.
The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog,
and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust
storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through
which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the
usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth.
Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the
surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled
out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and
moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting
has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other
unusual surface forms.
In our final dust devil image we are again looking
at the southern hemisphere of Mars. These tracks occur mainly
on the northeast side of the topographic ridges. Of course,
there are many exceptions, which makes understanding the
dynamics that initiate the actual dust devil cyclone difficult.
[Source: ASU THEMIS Science Team]
Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University
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