PIA04564: Cycloidal Dust Devil Track
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Spacecraft: Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
Instrument: Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
Product Size: 540 x 810 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA04564.tif (438.1 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04564.jpg (65.17 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-382, 5 June 2003

The spiraling feature near the center of this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image is known as a cycloidal marking. Patterns like this can also occur on Earth. On Mars, the cycloidalpattern--and all of the other dark streaks in this picture--are thought to have been formed by passing dust devils. On Earth, cycloidal markings have been observed to result from some tornadoes. The pattern is created when more than one vortex (spinning column of air) is traveling, and spinning, together. This picture is near 62.9S, 234.7W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-06-12