The complete Mars planet has been enclosed by a huge dust storm, with the clouds of dust reaching up as high as 40 Miles, as declared by NASA. Since last week, the Opportunity rover, which is powered by solar, has been silenced by the dust storm, by hiding the Sun. The rover is not working as its solar panels are not capable of providing or recharging its batteries.
However, Curiosity, the other Martian rover of NASA, is nuclear powered and not affected by the dust storm. For the researchers of NASA, Curiosity can provide an extraordinary opportunity to counter why few Martian dust storms remain for months and develop huge, whereas others are small and remain a week only.
Scott Guzewich, NASA atmospheric scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, said, “We do not have any good idea.” The dust storm is the largest since 2007 on Mars.
Martian dust storms are ordinary, particularly during the summer and spring of the planet, when it’s nearest to the sun, as per NASA. As the atmosphere warms, the winds produced at diverse places drum up dust particles the dimension of talcum powder grains, said NASA.
The storms characteristically remain limited to one region on the planet. The existing storm would wrap an area bigger than Russia and North America combined, said Guzewich.
Researchers have been tracking the Martian dust storms for over a century, making use of spacecraft and telescopes orbiting Mars. At times, the storms are so strong and kick up sufficient dust that they can be observed by telescopes on Earth.
On the other hand, the RemoveDEBRIS satellite has been set-off from the ISS on a task to examine the rising amount of debris orbiting the Earth. The assignment, which has obtained endowment from the EU, will observe the satellite exhibit methods for confining and deorbiting junk from low Earth orbit.