Thursday, September 11, 2008

NASA's Phoenix Lander Sees, Feels Martian Whirlwinds In Action

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has photographed several dust devils dancing across the arctic plain this week and sensed a dip in air pressure as one passed near the lander.

These dust-lofting whirlwinds had been expected in the area, but none had been detected in earlier Phoenix images.

I saw my first (terrestrial) dust devils while in Colorado and Wyoming several weeks ago. They move with such eerie deliberation that one feels they're almost alive in some rudimentary sense.

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