Record-Breaking Dust Devil Caught in the Act
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Record-Breaking Dust Devil Caught in the Act
ESP_016306_2410  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
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Sometimes HiRISE finds something unexpected.

This image was targeted to study knobs in Mars' northern plains, just north of Scandia Crater. The knobs are clearly imaged, but what surprised scientists was a dust devil visible in the south-central part of the image.

As on Earth, dust devils form when ground heated by sunlight warms the air above it. The hot air rises, forming an updraft accompanied by vortical motions. Because warm ground is a requirement, dust devils on Mars generally form in late spring to summer, especially at high latitudes.

This image was taken in early spring (2010), at a latitude of 61 degrees North. No dust devil has been seen this far from the equator at such an early season before.
Written by: Nathan Bridges  (17 March 2010)
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Acquisition date
18 January 2010

Local Mars time:
14:32

Latitude (centered)
60.839°

Longitude (East)
212.341°

Range to target site
310.5 km (194.1 miles)

Original image scale range
31.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~93 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.3°

Phase angle:
53.0°

Solar incidence angle
53°, with the Sun about 37° above the horizon

Solar longitude
39.4°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  324.3°
JPEG
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (2505MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (1082MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (1332MB)
non-map           (1205MB)

IRB color
map projected  (452MB)
non-map           (825MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (744MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (730MB)

RGB color
non map           (836MB)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

USAGE POLICY
All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

POSTSCRIPT
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.