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Fraser
2005-Jul-15, 05:11 PM
SUMMARY: When the first astronauts set foot on Mars, they'll need to keep a nervous eye out for the many dust devils that crisscross the surface of the Red Planet. In fact, if you were standing next to NASA's Spirit rover in the middle of the Martian day, you might see 6 dust devils zipping across the landscape. While they wouldn't be dangerous, these devils are electrified, and could disrupt communications, damage electrical devices, and clog up spacesuits with statically clingy Martian dust that would be very difficult to remove.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/watch_out_electrified_dust_devils.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

dave_f
2005-Jul-15, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by fraser@Jul 15 2005, 12:11 PM
SUMMARY: When the first astronauts set foot on Mars, they'll need to keep a nervous eye out for the many dust devils that crisscross the surface of the Red Planet. In fact, if you were standing next to NASA's Spirit rover in the middle of the Martian day, you might see 6 dust devils zipping across the landscape. While they wouldn't be dangerous, these devils are electrified, and could disrupt communications, damage electrical devices, and clog up spacesuits with statically clingy Martian dust that would be very difficult to remove.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/watch_out_electrified_dust_devils.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.
This is an interesting story, particularly when it comes to understanding weather patterns. Understanding Mars' weather patterns is one step towards understanding Earth's weather patterns.

And that's something we can all appreciate, especially concerning the recent hurricane season(s)

aeolus
2005-Jul-15, 07:18 PM
A significant player in these dust devils is the rapid and drastic swing in temperatures Mars goes through every sol. I imagine temperature changes would be more drastic on the equator, thus would make the dust devils appear more frequently at the mid sections of the planet. Is this the case?

VanderL
2005-Jul-15, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by dave_f@Jul 15 2005, 06:01 PM
This is an interesting story, particularly when it comes to understanding weather patterns. Understanding Mars' weather patterns is one step towards understanding Earth's weather patterns.

And that's something we can all appreciate, especially concerning the recent hurricane season(s)
The effect would rather be the opposite of what is described in the article, as was evidenced earlier, the rovers were cleaned from dust by the dust-devils. They regained their full power after the dust was removed.

Cheers.

lswinford
2005-Jul-15, 11:31 PM
When he wrote of the adhesion of dust because of the ionization effect, why don't we see that as a significant problem (present problem, but not nearly as bad as expected) with the two rovers? Didn't one of them experience, or was near, a dust devil?

dave_f
2005-Jul-16, 04:33 AM
Originally posted by VanderL@Jul 15 2005, 03:05 PM
The effect would rather be the opposite of what is described in the article, as was evidenced earlier, the rovers were cleaned from dust by the dust-devils. They regained their full power after the dust was removed.

Cheers.
VanderL! I am surprised to see you here! I hope things are going well with you!

Anyways, how is this "opposite" of what the article says? I read the article myself and got the distinct feeling that scientists are understanding Mars' weather patterns better and better with passing time. The thin atmosphere of Mars makes things challenging from a meteorologists' point of view. Can you provide some insight as to what your thoughts on this are?

VanderL
2005-Jul-16, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by dave_f+Jul 16 2005, 04:33 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (dave_f &#064; Jul 16 2005, 04:33 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
VanderL&#33; I am surprised to see you here&#33; I hope things are going well with you&#33;

[/b]
Hi Dave,

Could you tell me why you are surprised? Things are very well with me, thanks.


<!--QuoteBegin-VanderL@Jul 15 2005, 03:05 PM
The effect would rather be the opposite of what is described in the article, as was evidenced earlier, the rovers were cleaned from dust by the dust-devils. They regained their full power after the dust was removed.
[/quote]


Dave_f
Anyways, how is this "opposite" of what the article says? I read the article myself and got the distinct feeling that scientists are understanding Mars&#39; weather patterns better and better with passing time. The thin atmosphere of Mars makes things challenging from a meteorologists&#39; point of view. Can you provide some insight as to what your thoughts on this are?


This is from the article:

And after the dust devil passed over and was gone, a lasting souvenir of its passage would be an increased adhesion of dust to spacesuits, vehicles, and habitats via electrostatic cling--the same phenomenon that causes socks to stick together when pulled out of a clothes dryer--making cleanup difficult before reentering a habitat.

And it is contrary to what the encounters of the rovers with a dust-devil showed.

The rest of this article is very interesting, there is only one problem I have with the explanation of how dust devils start, convection cells tipping over sounds like fiction, how can those thing keep their integrity, after all, the Martian atmosphere is very thin. And another thing is a paradox, the dust "rubbing" seems to be responsible for the electric fields, but the electric fields are responsible for the dust devils, so how does it really get started.
removed content for rule six violation - antoniseb

Cheers.

Guest_James
2005-Jul-17, 05:59 AM
The difficulty that these dust devils/electromagnetic fields present will easily be solved by the ingenuity of the intelligent engineers which work for NASA. Thanks for the heads up, though, Fraser.

Nothing is impossible with God&#33;

suitti
2005-Jul-17, 06:15 PM
Let&#39;s say that static makes dust stick to astronauts (cosmonauts,
yuhangyuans or taikonauts), perhaps static can make them unstick.
While energy and power may be scarce on Mars, electric charge
should be cheap enough to manufacture. Worse comes to worse,
there are those lint thingys you put in your dryer. <_<

Eric Vaxxine
2005-Jul-19, 12:26 PM
Dust Devils reaching km&#39;s high ? Wow, it&#39;s a rather active place.

The camera lenses on the rovers haven&#39;t lost much definition and I would have thought such electrically charged dust would really play havoc with Spirit and Opportunity electronics?

Self cleaning by using the local weather phenomena is very lucky/clever/miraculous/unbelievable etc etc