NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Jezero Crater is dealing with dust demons. Meanwhile, it has revealed new mysteries about the planet.
Since the first landing of the NASA Mars Perseverance Rover in February 2021, it has been collecting rock samples, analyzing terrain and trying to find evidence of former microbial life on the planet. However, its mission has been affected by some of the harshest weather events on the planet, called the Dust Devil in the rover’s landing site Jejiro Crater. The dust devil is the huge whirlwind that carries and with it revolves around the dust. But in more than 200 days of planetary exploration, it has also begun to study these dust devils. And it turns out that scientists have found new information about Mars because of this.
Details of these observations are documented in a research paper published in the journal Science Advances. The paper mentions the weather conditions on Mars in the first 216 Mars days cut by the rover. NASA says the study has enabled a better understanding of the dust processes on Mars and brought them one step closer to predicting.
NASA is researching the Mars Perseverance Rover Dust Devil
The observations required to record these weather events were initially made using a special sensor called the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) alongside the camera of the Mars Perseverance Rover. With its air and light sensors, MEDA can detect cyclones around the rover. In 2021, Perseverance even recorded a video of the dust of Mars. You can check out the video here.
“Every time we land in a new place on Mars, it’s an opportunity to better understand the planet’s weather. We had a regional dust storm above us in January, but we’re still in the middle of a dusty season, so we’re going to see a lot of dust storms, “Claire Newman, lead author of the study, told NASA.
Jejiro Crater is also said to be one of the most active sources of planetary dust. The study noted that NASA’s Perseverance Rover has experienced an average of at least four cyclones on Mars. Some of the dust clouds created by this gust of wind were about 4 square kilometers. When the rover studies the red planet’s environment, scientists hope to learn more about this unique phenomenon.