Massive Mars Dust Storms Triggered by Heat Imbalances

Mars' planet-engulfing dust storms are being driven by a dramatic energy imbalance between seasons and even between day and night on the Red Planet, new research has found

One of the most interesting findings is that energy excess — more energy being absorbed than produced — could be one of the generating mechanisms of dust storms on Mars

Often they can grow toencompass a substantial region of the Red Planet. For example, in January 2022, a dust storm covered nearly twice the area of the United States

Researchers found that dust storms are strongly related to the imbalance between the amount of solar energy being absorbed by Mars and the amount of energy it then re-radiates as heat

On Mars, the dust storm season will gear up again in the next few months, with the Red Planet's southern hemisphere passing its spring equinox in February 2022, according to the Planetary Society

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