A strong storm on Mars subsided: now the NASA spacecraft can survive
send to Telegram
share on Facebook
send to Viber
send to Messenger
On Mars, the seasons change, and therefore the threats to missions on the planet have practically disappeared.
A month ago, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded the appearance of an extremely strong dust storm on Mars. Such phenomena on the Red Planet are very dangerous for all devices that work there. For example, 4 years ago, such a dust storm caused the Opportunity rover to stop its work forever. Now NASA is concerned about the performance of the device InSight. A few weeks ago, there was so much dust in the Martian atmosphere that it was not possible for this device to get enough solar energy to work. Scientists decided that this was the end of this mission. But the dust storm has subsided due to the change of seasons on Mars, and there is a chance that InSight will still be able to send new data on the seismic activity of the planet, writes Space.
Claire Newman of Mars weather company Aeolis Research says InSight will survive this dust storm, which is now subsiding. Though it's running out of service anyway.
Until now, scientists are still trying to fully understand how dust storms appear on Mars. It is already known that small storms, of a local scale, occur on the planet all year round. But huge storms, enveloping vast expanses, appear more often at the end of summer in the southern hemisphere. It was this storm that threatened InSight.
All dust storms on Mars appear seasonally, because the reason for their occurrence is associated with an imbalance of heat that raises dust from the surface into the rarefied Martian atmosphere.
“Dust rises, heats up and there are stronger winds that raise more dust from the surface. It's a vicious circle,” says Newman.
Mars also has planetary dust storms, when the wind blows across the planet from east to west, scientists say. Such storms appear every few years.
“On Earth, there are no such planetary dust storms. One of the reasons for this is the presence of water and precipitation, and this draws dust from the atmosphere, while there is nothing like this on Mars,” says Newman.
According to Newman, it is unlikely , although it is possible that another similar strong dust storm will appear on Mars this year.
According to scientists, the storm, which has almost subsided on Mars, is the second in strength and scale this year.
As for InSight, it is particularly vulnerable to dust storms due to its heavy reliance on its solar panels. If they are covered with dust, then the energy stops flowing.
Focus already wrote about a large-scale dust storm on Mars, which could prematurely end the work of the InSight apparatus.
We remind that a new study by scientists suggests that Mars may not be exactly a dead planet. At least in the geological aspect of the issue. Researchers believe that there is activity under the surface that should have stopped billions of years ago.