Gigantic Dust Towers on Mars Could Explain How the Red Planet Lost its Water

Gigantic Dust Towers on Mars Could Explain How the Red Planet Lost its Water

by George Dvorsky, Gizmodo

Sprawling towers of dust can reach heights of 50 miles during global-scale dust storms on Mars, according to new research. Acting like a space elevator, the phenomenon might explain how water escaped from the Red Planet during its ancient past.

On Earth, storms tend to be highly localized events, but things are a bit different on Mars. About once a decade, Mars experiences a colossal dust storm that impacts the planet on a global scale. Known as planet-encircling dust events (PEDEs), these storms affect the planet’s weather for months at a time. Such a storm occurred in 2018—a massive global dust storm that enveloped the entire planet, casting it in a dull yellowish haze and putting an end to NASA’s Opportunity rover mission.

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