Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dust Storm Swallows Half Of Mars

Date:
July 10, 2001
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
The largest dust storm to be seen on Mars since NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft arrived in 1997 is currently raging across about half the planet.

The largest dust storm to be seen on Mars since NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft arrived in 1997 is currently raging across about half the planet.

Related Articles


"This is by far the largest storm we've seen during the Mars Global Surveyor mission," said Dr. Philip Christensen of Arizona State University in Tempe, principal investigator for the Global Surveyor's thermal emission spectrometer. The instrument has been monitoring the Martian atmosphere since March 1999. "We expect that the storm will continue to grow -- perhaps becoming a global storm of the type that was seen during the Mariner 9 and Viking missions in the 1970s," Christensen said.

Daily observations by the instrument are made into maps that allow scientists to determine both the temperature and the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Mars dust storm maps are posted at http://tes.la.asu.edu.

Scientists first noticed the onset of the storm June 15, 2001 when a region of dust began to appear in the Hellas Basin in the southern hemisphere. A week and a half later, on June 26, the storm began to intensify and expand. Since then, the storm has dramatically grown in size and severity. The dust storm has expanded well into the northern hemisphere and has wrapped more than halfway around the planet, Christensen said. This storm also began earlier than normal for Martian dust storms. In the past when a large storm has occurred early in the season, there are usually several large storms during the year. NASA scientists will be monitoring Mars over the next few months to see how this major storm develops and to test their predictions of more storms to come.

The storm should not have a major impact on the planned arrival of another spacecraft, the 2001 Mars Odyssey, in October, Christensen said. Odyssey will use repeated passes through Mars' upper atmosphere to slow the spacecraft and lower its orbit around the red planet. "We'll use the instruments on Global Surveyor to monitor the atmosphere on an hourly basis, providing the Odyssey spacecraft team the information they need to keep Odyssey at the proper height where it can safely fly through the atmosphere," Christensen said. Odyssey's orbit height can be adjusted as needed in response to the changing atmosphere as observed by Global Surveyor, he said.

For more information on the Mars Exploration Program, see http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov.

Global Surveyor was launched in November 1996, and Mars Odyssey was launched in April 2001. Both missions are managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colo., developed and operates both spacecraft. The thermal emission spectrometers on each spacecraft are operated by Arizona State University. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Dust Storm Swallows Half Of Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010710074640.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2001, July 10). Dust Storm Swallows Half Of Mars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010710074640.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Dust Storm Swallows Half Of Mars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010710074640.htm (accessed April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hubble Telescope: 25 Years Of Revealing The Universe

Hubble Telescope: 25 Years Of Revealing The Universe

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2015) Despite a blurry start to its service, the Hubble Space Telescope is still serving as one of the best visual science tools on or off the planet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hubble Telescope Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 25th Anniversary

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) NASA&apos;s Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 25th anniversary of being placed into orbit. NASA unveiled the official Hubble anniversary image to mark the occasion. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hubble Turns 25

The Hubble Turns 25

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 22, 2015) The Hubble telescope turns 25, marking a milestone in the history of space exploration. As Pavithra George reports, NASA is celebrating the technology, saying Hubble has "rewritten the text books." Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teens Compete, Help Shape Future of NASA

Teens Compete, Help Shape Future of NASA

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) This week, 17,000 students from 30 countries are competing in the 20th FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis, including a team from Houston that, a few years ago, helped influence the design of a NASA rover. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins