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Huge Dust Storm Breaks Out on Mars

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posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 05:43 AM
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A major dust storm has developed on the red planet, blocking sunlight and prompting Mars mission managers to keep a close eye on it, SPACE.com has learned.

Huge Dust Storm Breaks Out on Mars




posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 05:50 AM
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Actually this could be a good thing for the rovers, it sandblast's them clean.
I wonder what would cause a dust storm of this magnitude to just happen?



posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 07:06 AM
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Nice Find!



Image of the Storm


A dust storm caught by amateur astronomer Paul Maxso of Phoenix, Arizona. On June 23 (top), the storm appears as a bright red blemish on the visible light "RGB" image, just northeast of the planet's center. On June 26, the storm has more than quadrupled in size and is a large blotch occupying the northeastern region of Mars on the "RGB" image.



posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by earth2
Actually this could be a good thing for the rovers, it sandblast's them clean.
I wonder what would cause a dust storm of this magnitude to just happen?


I doubt the sand storm blasts it clean. I stayed in an area where we used to have the odd dust storm and i have never seen it clean my windows. I don't believe in the rovers being cleaned by a dust storm LOL...



posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 07:31 AM
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Originally posted by shearder

Originally posted by earth2
Actually this could be a good thing for the rovers, it sandblast's them clean.
I wonder what would cause a dust storm of this magnitude to just happen?


I doubt the sand storm blasts it clean. I stayed in an area where we used to have the odd dust storm and i have never seen it clean my windows. I don't believe in the rovers being cleaned by a dust storm LOL...


Actually this isn't so absurd. Both Spirit and Opportunity have had "panel clearing events" which were attributed to high winds or dust devils in 2005.

From the referenced article:


For now, officials don't think the storm will threaten rover operations, however. In fact, the windy conditions on the planet have blown off large amounts of dust from the rovers' solar arrays, giving them more power.
.



posted on Jun, 28 2007 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by Stale Cracker
Actually this isn't so absurd. Both Spirit and Opportunity have had "panel clearing events" which were attributed to high winds or dust devils in 2005.



High winds i can agree with, dust storms i do not. I would assume that the dust storms on Mars are a serious amount more hectic than here and a dust storm has only made things worse rather than better - UNLESS there was a mini whirlwind involved that swept away some of the dust, though not often at all.

I would go with winds in 2005 and the "panel clearing event" was wind and not a dust storm as far as i would venture and what you quoted - "windy conditions". Then again, unless there is footage of a dust storm cleaning the panels - i will maintain my opinion and agree with the windy conditions. No bashing intended.

[edit on 28/6/2007 by shearder]



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 01:42 AM
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John Lear says that a person wearing a t-shirt and pair of shorts and a bottle of windex may have been involved.



posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by orthisguyoverhere
John Lear says that a person wearing a t-shirt and pair of shorts and a bottle of windex may have been involved.


LOL yeah, read that. perhaps walks around with a tool belt checking out the rovers and cleaning when and where necessary. Windex, paint brush for sweeping dust out of small areas and gaps/cracks. Hel what do I know. Imagine if it was fact LOL - that WOULD be cool.



posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by Enceladus
Mars Rovers Lose Power as Massive Dust Storm Grows


Another reason why i would not believe dust storms cleared the panels but rather "winds"... The above message only strengthens the idea that a dust storm clearing the panels could not be right. IMHO of course.


apc

posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 09:24 AM
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I don't get why dust getting all over the solar panels is such a huge problem for the little rovers. The clouds blocking the sun, sure... but dust on the panels?!

Someone invented something a long time ago that can easily take care of it...







I even found a store that sells them... Rover Wiper Blades

Just seems so... "duh"



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 04:06 AM
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Like NASA spending tons of money to invent a pen that writes in space and the Russians use a pencil. Perhaps they are inventing something that will remove dust from the panels other than the most logical solution because it doesn't cost enough?!



posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 08:41 AM
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To be quite honest i just have to ask,

I thought mars atmosphere was very thin, so that thought hey have huge dust storms they are not nearly as violent as they would be on earth due to a much much much thinner atmosphere....

Howvere, i'm just wondering. What could cause these dust storms, ie, on earth wind is created due to cold temperatures, and hot temperatures of air, contantly moving, getting heated, etc.

But aren't the temps on Mars low compared to earths, especially since it has a much thinner atmosphere...?????

How can a dust storm of these magnitudes occur on mars?????


apc

posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 10:50 AM
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Rotation is the primary cause of air movement on all the planets. And Mars' rotation is just a little slower than Earth's.

Mars however doesn't have things like trees to slow down airflow at the surface.

If Earth were covered in dust like Mars, and Earth had no trees like Mars, our duststorms would be just as large. As they are now they are fairly confined to the parts of the world that don't have many trees, such as the deserts of Arizona, Sudan, or the Middle East.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by apc
I don't get why dust getting all over the solar panels is such a huge problem for the little rovers.

It's just the darkening of the sky that does it. Not dust on the panels.


While this only represents enough dust to coat the planet to about the thickness of a human hair, it is enough to decrease the brightness of the noon sun by 96 percent compared to a completely clear atmosphere," said Steve Squyres, a Cornell University researcher who is principal investigator of the rover mission. "The solar arrays also receive light that is scattered from the dust, so the decrease in power is not nearly that great."

-- from the Space.com article someone linked to earlier.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 12:02 PM
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APC, here is the full articles on a thread I posted on the Rovers with NASA article links.


Nasa Rover Thread




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