NASA Curiosity Rover Latest News: Incredible Video Of Dust Devils On Martian Surface Released
The NASA Curiosity rover has been studying the various facets of the Martian surface over these years. Recently, it captured a footage of multiple dust devils circulating on the Martian surface. Though it may not be of any help regarding the prevailing questions about the existence of alien life on Mars, it sure provides new insights into the various factors that contribute in the formation of valleys and mountains on the surface of Mars.
NASA scientists have been trying to understand the geology of the layered mountainous structures present on Mars. It seems that the NASA Curiosity rover may have provided the answer to it. The recently captured footage shows that the Martian dust devils are capable of carrying sand to far off places, and the deposition and erosion of the sand particles may be the reason behind the formation of Mount Sharp in the Gale impact crater, Fox News reported.
The layered nature of Mount Sharp in the impact crater had puzzled researchers for years. The recently acquired orbiter perspective of the rover helped in understanding the long-term patterns of erosion and deposition of sand and the resulting formation of layers on all sides of Mount Sharp, explained Mackenzie Day, from the University of Texas, who is also the lead author of the research report published in the journal Icarus, Phys.org reported.
According to The Huffington Post, scientists are of the opinion that wind played a crucial role in landscaping the rugged surface of the Red Planet and helped in the formation of its valleys and mountains. Conversely, these mountains, just like Mount Sharp, are now playing a crucial role in determining the force and direction of wind, and thus regulating the subsequent geological course of events.
Previously, it was assumed that the Martian surface is quite silent and eventless. But the NASA Curiosity rover updates have sure negated that notion. Though the Martian atmosphere is about 100 times weaker than Earth's, it seems the Martian breeze is just enough to transport sand and dust particles to form sand dunes and layered mountains.