Dust Devil Days
About this image
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. Dust devils, small cyclonic wind storms, are common in the American Southwest and on Mars. As the dust devil moves across the surface it picks up the loose dust, leaving behind a dark track to mark its passage. These dust devil tracks are in the Argyre Basin.
Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images.