July 7, 2019

Dust storms observed near Mars' northern polar cap

ESA has published images of dust storms sighted at the edge of the northern polar cap of the planet Mars between May 22 and June 10, 2019. The Mars Express space probe’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) and Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) instruments allowed to observe at least eight different storms that formed and dissipated very quickly for a duration between one and three days each during which they moved to the equator and the ancient volcanoes Olympus Mons and Elysium Mons. Those are short-lived local phenomena, small compared to the global storm that covered the entire planet last year, but help to understand the processes taking place in the Martian atmosphere.