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Press Release Images: Spirit
12-April-2007
 
 
Dust Devils Whip By Spirit, Sol 1120

Image:
This image shows that on sol 1120 (February 26, 2007), the navigation camera aboard NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured one of the best dust devils it's seen in its three-plus year mission.
Browse Image | Larger Image (56 kB)


Movie clip:
This movie clip shows that on sol 1120 (February 26, 2007), the navigation camera aboard NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured one of the best dust devils it's seen in its three-plus year mission.
Large Version (6 MB)

On sol 1120 (February 26, 2007), the navigation camera aboard NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured one of the best dust devils it's seen in its three-plus year mission. The series of navigation camera images were put together to make a dust devil movie.

The dust devil column is clearly defined and is clearly bent in the down wind direction. Near the end of the movie, the base of the dust devil becomes much wider. The atmospheric science team thinks that this is because the dust devil encountered some sand and therefore produced a "saltation skirt," an apron of material that is thrown out of the dust devil because it is too large to be carried up into suspension.

Also near the end of the movie the dust devil seems to move faster across the surface. This is because Spirit began taking pictures less frequently, and not because the dust devil sped up.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 
Spirit Feels Dust Gust, Sol 1149

Image:
This image shows that on sol 1149 (March 28, 2007) of its mission, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit caught a wind gust with its navigation camera.
Browse Image | Larger Image (68 kB)


Movie clip:
This movie clip shows that on sol 1149 (March 28, 2007) of its mission, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit caught a wind gust with its navigation camera.
Large Version (6 MB)

On sol 1149 (March 28, 2007) of its mission, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit caught a wind gust with its navigation camera. A series of navigation camera images were strung together to create this movie. The front of the gust is observable because it was strong enough to lift up dust. From assessing the trajectory of this gust, the atmospheric science team concludes that it is possible that it passed over the rover. There was, however, no noticeable increase in power associated with this gust. In the past, dust devils and gusts have wiped the solar panels of dust, making it easier for the solar panels to absorb sunlight.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

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