Science

NASA discovers mysterious blue dune on Mars

NASA discovers mysterious blue dune on Mars”

And earlier this week, NASA has confirmed that the storm is now a "planet-encircling" or "global" dust event, and showing no signs of backing off soon. The storm was first detected on May 30.

Curiosity's engineers say that the storm poses little risk to the mission's operations and should not affect the rover's instruments.

The 15-year-old Opportunity rover, which is hunkered down in Mars' Perseverance Valley, have been silent despite scientists keeping an ear out for a signal. Regardless, the project doesn't expect to hear back from Opportunity until the skies begin to clear over the rover. For the researchers of NASA, Curiosity can provide an extraordinary opportunity to counter why few Martian dust storms remain for months and develop huge, whereas others are small and remain a week only.

On June 10th, the dust storm reached the position of the Mars Opportunity Rover, leaving the NASA's solar-powered vehicle without a source of energy.

However, the space agency has announced that this SUV will not be affected by the storm because it has a nuclear power battery that allows it to operate day and night.

So far, scientists are hopeful that it will survive.

Once the dust settles from the atmosphere, another potential threat is too much of the particles coating the rover and damaging some of its equipment. The dust storm is the largest since 2007 on Mars. As dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, once the sun hits it this creates lovely patterns that can be seen scattered across the surface of the Red Planet. Pictures were taken with the help of HiRISE, the most powerful camera ever sent people to another planet.

Mars has been lovingly referred to as the Red Planet and for good reason, so it's important to remember that the lovely azure color that people are seeing isn't really there, and that enhancing the dune by giving it a blue hue was the best way for NASA to show viewers that the material in the Lyot Crater is of a much different variety than elsewhere on the planet.



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