We're not in Kansas anymore ! Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Catches a Twister in Action

Transcript:

We're going to zoom to an area that's west of Olympus Mons, the solar system's biggest volcano.
These areas called, Amazonis, are volcanic plains covered with dust and this season is northern spring on Mars.
At this time, the ground's getting hot and when the ground gets hot it can produce dust devils.
And here we've captured one of those in a high-resolution image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
From that image, we can reconstruct what this would look like if we were able to get an oblique view, as if we were in a helicopter flying around the dust devil.
The streak on the surface, the dark band, is actually the shadow and that's what we construct the height of the dust devil and show you this view of it.
The dust devil itself , the core of it, is about 100 feet across.
The dust devil is extending a half a mile into the atmosphere.
So it's quite a large one, but comparable to the largest ones that are on the Earth.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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