Dust devil sweeps across Mars near Mount Sharp

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover spotted this dust devil with one of its Navigation Cameras around 11:35 a.m. local Mars time on 9 August 2020 (the 2,847th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). The frames in the video were shot over 4 minutes and 15 seconds.

Taken from the “Mary Anning” drill site, this dust devil appears to be passing through small hills just above Curiosity’s location on Mount Sharp. The dust devil is approximately half-a-kilometre to a kilometre away (one-third to a half-mile) and is estimated to be about 5 metres (16 feet) wide. The dust plume disappears past the top of the frame, so an exact height can’t be known, but it’s estimated to be at least 50 metres (164 feet) tall.