Dust storms on Mars, artwork

Dust storms on Mars, artwork

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dust storms over Valles Marineris. Artwork of an aerial view of dust storms forming over Valles Marineris (Mariner Valleys), a massive system of canyons near the equator on Mars. The entire canyon system is some 4000 kilometres long, 200 kilometres wide and up to 7 kilometres deep, dwarfing similar canyons on Earth. The surface of Mars has been extensively mapped by orbiting unmanned spacecraft. Erosion features in the landscape, and data from rovers exploring the surface, suggest that water once flowed here, shaping these canyons after their formation. Dust storms are common on Mars, which is an arid desert world. Sometimes dust storms cover the whole planet. Smaller dust storms are known as dust devils.

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