HONOLULU (KHON2) — NASA released a new video from space on Thursday showing a twister on Mars.
NASA’s Perseverance rover caught the Martian dust devil moving along the western rim of Mars’ Jezero Crater on Wednesday, Aug. 30.
While usually much smaller than the tornadoes we see here on planet Earth, NASA said dust devils are one of the mechanisms that move and redistribute dust around Mars.
“We don’t see the top of the dust devil, but the shadow it throws gives us a good indication of its height,” said Mark Lemmon, a planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and a member of the Perseverance science team.
Using data from the imagery, mission scientists determined that the dust devil they captured was moving at about 12 mph. They calculated its width to be about 200 feet.
NASA said the video they released was enhanced in order to show maximal detail and was sped up 20 times.
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A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is to search for signs of ancient microbial life and to eventually have their rover be the first to collect and cache rocks from Mars.