This close-up image of a dust storm on Mars was acquired by the Mars Color Imager instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 7, 2007

November 7, 2007

This close-up image of a dust storm on Mars was acquired by the Mars Color Imager instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 7, 2007. Scientists working with NASA's Curiosity and Opportunity rovers monitor Mars each day for similar small storms that could affect operations on Mars.

This image is centered on Utopia Planitia, along the north seasonal polar cap edge in late northern winter. The dust storm pictured here was short-lived, lasting less than 24 hours. The image also shows the seasonal north polar cap (at top of figure) and gravity-wave water ice clouds coming off of Mie crater, just south of the storm. Gravity-wave clouds, also called lee-wave clouds, are clouds that result from changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature and height because of vertical displacement, such as when wind blows over a mountain or crater wall.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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