December 6, 2022

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We already know what causes planet-wide Martian storms

We already know what causes planet-wide Martian storms

Mars is famous for its dust storms. every few years It happens so hard Covering the entire planet. No wonder scientists wonder where the giant dust storms on Mars came from.

They aren’t the storms we know about, nor are they like the ones in the Martian movie. The atmosphere of Mars is very thin and the pressure is 100 times less than that on Earth. It’s too low to beat a man or a rover. The danger is elsewhere.

In the thin atmosphere of Mars, dust rises high above the surface of the planet. Dust lasts for months. On Earth, rain will fall, but in the dry Martian atmosphere, all you can count on is snow (very thin and weak) carbon dioxide solidified near the poles.

Scientists who analyzed data from many Mars missions and instruments. Data from the 1997-2005 Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover, and Insight.

They believe they have solved the mystery of the formation of dust storms on this planet. They were born as a result of differences in the “energy budget”, that is, the ratio of the amount of energy absorbed and released by Mars at different times of the year, the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal “PNAS”.

On Earth, this difference is not significant and amounts to only 0.4%. (Annual average for the entire planet). Mars emits more than 15 percent in summer. More energy than in the winter. It also turns out that during dust storms the planet gives up 22 percent. Less energy during the day, but up to 29 more at night – which indicates more strongly that this energy imbalance is linked to the formation of dust blizzards.

This is a big difference from what scientists previously assumed. They believed that the energy balance on Mars was more balanced. These measurements will likely make it possible to better predict dust storms that cover the planet once every few years.

One of the dust storms that covered the entire surface of Mars In 2018, it disabled the Opportunity Rover. The mission control had to put him in ‘survival mode’ in emergency situations. It did not help much, because on June 10 he fell silent. It turns out it was forever. After 15 years of continuous work His photovoltaic cells were covered in Martian dust.

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