Martian Dust Storm

Just like the movies, Mars does have dust storms. Unlike the movies, the wind speed is only 10-20 MPH. But, regardless of the speed, Martian dust storms are something to be contended with. In June of 2018, a dust storm, which completely engulfed the entire planet, also disabled the Mars rover Opportunity by blocking out the Sunlight needed to power the rover.

Well, it may be happening again. A dust storm is in progress and appears to be growing.

The storm is spreading across the Martian landscape. How far it will spread is anyone’s guess. But, these storms have been known to become global events.

So, let’s just say, if you want to get a good photo of the Martian landscape, you probably should hurry before it becomes one big featureless, orange blob.

These storms are not to be confused with what is called “Dust devils”. Dust devils are similar in appearance to Earth’s tornados. The difference is that tornados drop down from clouds but dust devils rise up from the Martian surface. They can, though not typically, reach an altitude of 12 miles, being 98 feet wide, with a wind speed of 70 MPH.