Dust Devil Captured By Opportunity Rover

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An impressive, albeit somewhat eerie, picture of a dust devil whirling through a valley on the surface of Mars has been captured by a NASA rover from its perch high on a ridge.

The photo shows the six-wheeled robot’s tracks in the foreground, leading up the north-facing slope of “Knudsen Ridge”, which forms part of the southern edge of “Marathon Valley”.

Dust devils are also common on Earth and are formed when a rising, rotating column of hot air whirls at speed, picking up tiny grains of dust from the ground in the process, making the vortex visible.

On Mars, however, stronger updrafts are needed to create the dust devils, which tend to grow bigger than their counterparts on Earth.

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