Dust Devils on Mars

If you think it's been windy in these parts in recent days: The UA's HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured this shot of a half-mile-tall dust devil skirting across the surface of the Red Planet.

HiRISE's Paul Geissler tells us:


A towering dust devil casts a serpentine shadow over the Martian surface in this stunning, late springtime image of Amazonis Planitia.

The length of the shadow indicates that the dust plume reaches more than 800 meters, or half a mile, in height. The tail of the plume does not trace the path of the dust devil, which had been following a steady course towards the southeast and left a bright track behind it.