NASA / JPL-CALTECH / U.ARIZONA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / U.ARIZONA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Martian dust devil. Satellite image showing a dust devil rising out of the knobbly textured surface of Mars' northern plains. Dust devils form when ground heated by sunlight warms the air above it, causing the hot air to rise and forming an updraft accompanied by vortical motions. Because warm ground is a requirement, dust devils on Mars generally form in late spring to summer but this image was taken in early spring at a latitude of 61 degrees North. No dust devil had been seen this far from the equator at such an early season before. Imaged by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, in 2010.
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