VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Astronaut on Mars facing a dust storm, computer artwork. Dust storms, which are similar to small tornadoes, are a frequent occurrence on Mars. Global dust storms sometimes enshroud the entire planet. The discovery that dust storms on Earth are electrically charged has raised questions about Martian dust storms and their implications for astronauts and equipment. Dust storms are formed when the ground heats up during the day, warming the air directly above it. As the pockets of warm air rise they can interfere with one another, causing a swirling motion that rubs dust particles against each other creating an electric charge.
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