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The Mars Twisters In Color
Nirgal
post Apr 22 2005, 02:55 AM
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the latest dust devil pictures are so amazing that I spent the whole night
working on a colorization of the navcam pics.
... It is now 5 o'clock in the morning wink.gif
This is still a work in progress but I'd like to share the first results here:
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dot.dk
post Apr 22 2005, 03:26 AM
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That looks great!!! ohmy.gif

Can you post a bigger resolution?


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glennwsmith
post Apr 22 2005, 04:52 AM
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Thanks for making these astounding images available. How can the thin Martian atmosphere churn things up so?

Glenn
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deglr6328
post Apr 22 2005, 05:01 AM
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oooohhhh perrrty.... cool.gif
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djellison
post Apr 22 2005, 07:41 AM
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Those are STUNNING!

Doug
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Marcel
post Apr 22 2005, 08:04 AM
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What the blink.gif !!! I first thought that it was april 1 again!! Great images Nirgal, they made my mouth fall open ohmy.gif .

PS: the thin atmosphere can churn things up like this for 2 reasons: the wind-speeds can be pretty high, and secondly: the dust is almost like a smoke, considering the particle size, which is easily suspended.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Apr 22 2005, 10:42 AM
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It should be kept in mind, though, that -- as JPL's description of these new movies (and they ARE movies) points out -- they used a technique to greatly amplify the visibility of the dust devils themselves as compared to their backdrop. To the human eye they would have been MUCH fainter. (Nice to finally see the things, though -- and these images are clear enough to show the individual streaks of dust spiralling up the shaft of each one, allowing a really detailed analysis of their structure. One almost expects to see Wile E. Coyote caught up in one of them.)

http://www1.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solar...st-devil-3.html
http://www1.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solar...st-devil-4.html
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Chmee
post Apr 22 2005, 01:51 PM
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WOW! Nice job. I had the same reactiom, I thought it was APril Fools day again. Those dust devils are amazing! Good thing Spirit went up into the hills. Such dust devils would not be nearly as visible at ground level!
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Guest_Edward Schmitz_*
post Apr 22 2005, 03:05 PM
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QUOTE (glennwsmith @ Apr 21 2005, 09:52 PM)
Thanks for making these astounding images available.  How can the thin Martian atmosphere churn things up so?

Glenn
*

It took a lot of enhancement even to see it, at all. I'm not knocking enhancement and I love the images. But if you we there, you might not even see it. Before launch, people were asking what would happen if the rover was hit by one. The team categorically said they were no threat.
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dvandorn
post Apr 22 2005, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (Edward Schmitz @ Apr 22 2005, 10:05 AM)
QUOTE (glennwsmith @ Apr 21 2005, 09:52 PM)
Thanks for making these astounding images available.  How can the thin Martian atmosphere churn things up so?

Glenn
*

It took a lot of enhancement even to see it, at all. I'm not knocking enhancement and I love the images. But if you we there, you might not even see it. Before launch, people were asking what would happen if the rover was hit by one. The team categorically said they were no threat.
*



Well, yeah -- no threat to a deployed rover on the ground. The team *was* a little worried about dust devils (and high winds in general) at Gusev during EDL, though, according to reports I've read.

It appears that the dust devils are something of a seasonal phenonemon, since we hadn't seen much trace of them throughout the Martian fall and winter. But now, during early Spring, there are a lot of them.... we need to remember that in future mission planning, I think.

-the other Doug


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Nirgal
post Apr 22 2005, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE
It took a lot of enhancement even to see it, at all.  I'm not knocking enhancement and I love the images.  But if you we there, you might not even see it.  Before launch, people were asking what would happen if the rover was hit by one.  The team categorically said they were no threat.
*


ok, but we should also not underestimate the effect of fast motion of the
spinning air & dust, which sure would enhance the visiblity,
if we observed it live from the ground.
(I'm also curious if one could see the red tube of air/dust extending high against the dark sky if one were looking high enough.

And: what we see here are just the "babies".
Judging from Orbiter views, those things can become _huge_ (larger than the biggest tornadoes on earth,
according to this excellent article:
http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/8_10_9...eases/moc2_171/

As far as the damage potential for the rovers is concerned:
For tornadoes on earth, the "strength of damage potential" of a
tornado increases with the second power of maximum wind speed
(if I remember correctly)
i.e. 500 mph is roughly 25 (=5x5) times more dangerous than a 100 mph storm)
So, even in a thin atmosphere, such storms have the potential of being
dangerous, it all depends on the maximum wind speed ...
But I guess, little is known about the maximum wind speed of dust devils on mars smile.gif
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Pando
post Apr 22 2005, 06:58 PM
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Well, we all know that the pancam calibration target post can be knocked over by one of those devils... tongue.gif
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dvandorn
post Apr 22 2005, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE (Nirgal @ Apr 22 2005, 01:53 PM)
And: what we see here are just the "babies".
Judging from Orbiter views, those things can become _huge_ (larger than the biggest tornadoes on earth,
according to this excellent article:
http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/8_10_9...eases/moc2_171/
*


I've seen the kind of dark patch we see in Gusev in several other Martian craters, so I think these "baby" dust devils are controlled by the topography. I can easily imagine the circular crater rims of these large craters setting up instabilities that result in baby dust devils scouring these relatively small patches of ground.

I think the atmospheric processes that control the large dust devils are probably a little different from those that control these baby devils. But the fact that both species of dust devil exist on the same planet is indeed fascinating... *grin*...

-the other Doug


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