Share this article:
On Mars, the sky is dust.
A massive dust storm on Mars that covered one-fourth of the planet just a week ago has grown into a global weather event, NASA officials said Wednesday (June 20).
The dust storm has knocked NASA's Opportunity rover offline for want of sunlight. The agency's nuclear-powered Curiosity, meanwhile, is snapping photos of the ever-darkening Martian sky. The two rovers are on opposite sides of Mars.
"The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a 'planet-encircling' (or 'global') dust event," NASA officials said in a statement.
The last dust storm on Mars to go global occurred in 2007, five years before the Curiosity rover landed at its Gale Crater site, according to officials with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The Opportunity rover has been exploring the plains of Meridiani Planum on the opposite side of Mars since 2004. During that 2007 Martian dust storm, NASA also lost contact with Opportunity for days due to low power levels from the lack of sunlight.
NASA lost contact with Opportunity last week when it missed a check-in call on June 12. NASA engineers think the rover is in a low-power mode, waking up only periodically to check if its batteries have recharged enough to phone home. All science operations by the rover are suspended while it waits out the storm.
Thunderstorms may pack a punch in part of the southeastern United States with the risk of isolated torrential downpours and strong wind gusts during Thursday afternoon and evening.
Experts say letting kids know it’s OK to have intense feelings about the situation is a great first step in helping them cope.
Scientists and researchers work to study these powerful phenomena to help us understand how to better protect vulnerable regions and improve resiliency.
Trami remains a powerful typhoon on Wednesday as it slowly meanders toward the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
Cold air will plunge into the north-central United States by week’s end, possibly bringing the first snowflakes of the season to some communities.
A medida que las temperaturas globales continúan aumentando, es probable que más personas recurran al aire acondicionado para mantenerse frescos. Como resultado, se espera que la demanda de electricidad aumente.
Even though the official start of the South Pacific tropical season is still more than a month away, an area of low pressure could become a named cyclone in the next 24 hours.
Imagine returning home after a major storm wreaked havoc on your neighborhood to discover that your precious family photos are unrecognizable due to mud, rain or floodwater.