PIA04157: Sol 568 Dust Devil in Gusev, Unenhanced
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Spirit
Instrument: Navigation Camera
Product Size: 1024 x 256 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Texas A&M
Full-Res TIFF: PIA04157.tif (262.6 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04157.jpg (27.96 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This movie clip shows several dust devils moving from right to left across a plain inside Mars' Gusev Crater, as seen from the vantage point of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in hills rising from the plain. The clip consists of frames taken by Spirit's navigation camera during the rover's 543rd martian day, or sol (July 13, 2005). Unlike some other movie clips of dust devils seen by Spirit, the images in this clip have not been processed to enhance contrast of the dust devils. The total time elapsed during the taking of these frames was 12 minutes, 17 seconds.

Spirit began seeing dust devil activity around the beginning of Mars' spring season. Activity increased as spring continued, but fell off again for about two weeks during a dust storm. As the dust storm faded away, dust devil activity came back. In the mid-afternoons as the summer solstice approached, dust devils were a very common occurrence on the floor of Gusev crater. The early-spring dust devils tended to move southwest-to-northeast, across the dust devil streaks in Gusev seen from orbit. Increasingly as the season progresses, the dust devils are seen moving northwest-to-southeast, in the same direction as the streaks. Scientists are watching for the big dust devils that leave those streaks.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Texas A&M

Image Addition Date:
2005-08-19