The NASA Mars Perseverance Rover dealt with the dust devil in Jezero Crater. Meanwhile, it has revealed new secrets about the planet.
Since NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover first landed in February 2021, it has been collecting rock samples, analyzing the terrain, and trying to find evidence of formerly microbial life on the planet. this planet. However, its mission was plagued by one of the most extreme weather phenomena on the planet known as the dust devil in Jezero Crater, where the explorers landed. Dust demons are large vortexes that carry and move around the dust with it. But in more than 200 days of exploring the planet, it has also begun to study these dust demons. And it turns out that scientists have found new information about Mars because of it.
The details of these observations were also recorded in a paper published in the journal Science Advances. The paper documented weather conditions on Mars during the first 216 Martian days experienced by the rover. NASA has stated that the study has helped them better understand dust processes on Mars and has come one step closer to predicting them.
NASA Mars Perseverance Rover studies dust demons
The observations needed to record these weather phenomena were made primarily using the Mars Perseverance Rover’s camera as well as a specific sensor in its body called the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA). . With wind and light sensors, MEDA can detect whirlwinds around the vehicle. In 2021, Perseverance even captured video of a dust wind on Mars. You can check out the video here.
“Every time we land in a new place on Mars, it’s an opportunity to better understand the planet’s weather. We had a regional dust storm right over our heads in January, but we’re still in the middle of dust season, so we’re very likely to see more dust storms,” said the study’s lead author , Claire Newman, told NASA.
Jezero Crater is also called one of the most active dust sources on the planet. The study notes that on average, the NASA Perseverance Rover has faced at least four tornadoes on Mars. Some of the dust clouds formed by these strong winds are as large as 4 square kilometers. As the rover studies the red planet’s environment, scientists hope to learn more about this unique phenomenon.