Dust Devils Dancing on Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dust Devils Dancing on Dunes
PSP_005383_1255  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
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Dust devils make dark, diffuse scribble markings on the surface by kicking up dust, and are especially active in the summertime over dark surfaces, such as those with many deposits of sand-sized material.

The surface warms up in the sunlight, creating the right conditions to form dust devils. Mars also has larger dust storms that can deposit a thin layer of dust and eliminate the dust devil tracks.

In the subimage are portions of two HiRISE images, one acquired on 23 June 2007 before the great dust storms of that year, and this one acquired on 19 September 2007. The pattern of dust devil tracks has completely changed over just three months! (The subimage is 1770 x 1283; 2 MB).

The tracks visible in the 23 June image formed in southern spring or summer of this year (2007; we have a series of images over this location), were erased by deposition from the large dust storms,and then new dust devils created the dark markings seen in the 19 September. These images show a small portion of the sand dunes in Russell Crater, which are of special interest due to the peculiar channels that formed on the steep slopes.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (3 October 2007)

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Acquisition date
19 September 2007

Local Mars time:
14:26

Latitude (centered)
-54.269°

Longitude (East)
12.950°

Range to target site
254.1 km (158.8 miles)

Original image scale range
25.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
5.7°

Phase angle:
51.1°

Solar incidence angle
47°, with the Sun about 43° above the horizon

Solar longitude
316.8°, Northern Winter

North azimuth:
96°

Sub-solar azimuth:
44.5°
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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
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. 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. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.