Stunning Blue Dune Discovered in 'Field of Dunes' on Mars

Christopher Davidson
June 24, 2018

However, the Opportunity rover, which has been on Mars for almost 15 years, has not been so lucky, effectively going into sleep mode during the storm. This dust storm that is capable of reaching up to 40 miles in height, could possibly cover an area as big as the entire Russian Federation and North America combined as a unity.

"The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a "planet-encircling" (or "global") dust event".

Last June 12, NASA engineers tried to communicate with the Opportunity rover but did not receive a response. The engineers believe that the rover is now in a hibernation state - in low-power mode. For the researchers of NASA, Curiosity can provide an extraordinary opportunity to counter why few Martian dust storms remain for months and develop huge, whereas others are small and remain a week only. However, this powerful storm is challenging the rover, as it blots out the sun and keeps the solar-powered batteries of the Opportunity from charging. At the moment, the rovers are on opposite sides of the Red Planet. People in the future want to colonize Mars, so high-quality equipment needs to be transported to the Red planet, as without it people will not be able to explore new space for themselves.

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"If you have sunlight that reaches the surface and heats it up, that creates an instability where warm air rises up".

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which hovers over 160 miles (255 kilometers) above the surface of Mars, recently sent back a photograph of a patch of blue on the Red Planet when it came across some dunes in the Lyot Crater. This natural phenomenon, considered by NASA scientists to be one of the "most intense phenomena observed" in recent decades, has forced the NASA's Mars Opportunity Rover to shut down all its systems.

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