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
Mars is famous for
its dust storms, which tend to whip up during summertime in the planet's southern hemisphere
Often they can grow to
encompass 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.