Mars Weather Mysteries: Massive Dust Storms Expands to Sizes Larger than the United States

By Cresswell McCoy | Mar 16, 2017 11:11 AM EDT

The Red Planet has always had mysteries occurring on the Martian surface, with NASA's Curiosity Rover on its Mars mission there have also been some surprising discoveries. With all these years of incredible surprises, the weather on Mars is still mysterious and it recently experienced massive dust storms that expanded to sizes larger than the United States.

Scientists were surprised to witness a second dust storm blooming just two weeks after another one in the same storm track. But this time is was not the Curiosity Rover that captured these storms. Instead, it was NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It clearly showed that both storms generated in the Acidalia area of the Northern Hills as per Space.

Moving from the North of the planet to the Southern Hemisphere, it expanded is sizes bigger that the United States. Scientists are trying to study the weather patterns of Mars, and by far they have noticed that global dust storms occur during spring and summer in the southern hemisphere.

The solution to these massive dust storms is because Mars is closest to the sun at this time, thus the heating is at a maximum to generate winds. Scientists have observed that only small dust particles are lifted high in the atmosphere, but sometimes larger bits of dust move along the surface.

There have been many local dust storms out of, which a few becomes regional and the fewer where enough dust goes up into the atmosphere to become global. NASA has experienced various dust storms ever since they started observing Mars. In 1971, a huge dust storm was witnessed and scientists saw the peaks of volcanoes peeking above the clouds.

The last global dust storm was in 2017, it turns out that the Martian dust dominates the lower atmosphere. This dust could have arrived from sources like the planet's moons Phobos and Deimos. Scientists are on to work further in order to understand the mysterious weather on Mars. 

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