Giant Storm On Mars
In the past few hours an immense storm, thousands of kilometres across, has developed on the surface of Mars. The best photos come from "amateur" astronomer Paul Maxson of Arizona. In the upper RGB image, it appears as a red spot Northeast of the planet's centre (white on the infrared image). In the lower set of photos, taken June 26, the storm has quadrupled in area. The storm is being monitored by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. Presently the storm is less than 900 km East of the Opportunity Rover, which is exploring Meridiani Planum.
The weather is certainly on our minds today! Storms on Mars are immense. A big one observed in 2001 engulfed the entire planet in dust. The red Martian soil is very likely similiar to that of Hawaii. Like the lunar regolith, it is highly abrasive and gets into everything. NASA, your manned Mars hardware had better be able to deal with this. Mine can.
Today the Planetary Society hosts the new Carnival of Space!