Twisted paths of dust devils

Twisted paths of dust devils

. Spinning columns of warm air, called dust devils, rise above the Sun-heated surface of Mars. Each tornado-like vortex picks up light-colored dust, exposing the darker surface underneath. Dust devils have created this wild pattern of criss-crossing dark streaks in the rippled flats of Argyre Planitia, covering an area 3 kilometers by 5 kilometers at a latitude of 51 degrees south. This image was taken from the Mars Global Surveyor in March 2000. (Courtesy of NASA, JPL and Malin Space Science Systems.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University