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UAE's Hope Probe tracks dust storms on Mars

Hope provides a powerful platform to observe details of the structure and variability of the Martian atmosphere



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 7 Mar 2022, 5:25 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Mar 2022, 5:26 PM

The Emirates Mars Mission is returning a number of unique observations of Martian dust storms, providing information and insight into the way in which these storms evolve and spread across huge swathes of the planet.

Hope provides a powerful platform to observe details of the structure and variability of the Martian atmosphere.

Coordinated observations made by the EXI camera and the EMIRS infrared spectrometer characterise the thermal state of the surface and lower atmosphere, and provide details of the geographic distribution of dust, water vapour, and water and carbon-dioxide ice clouds over time scales of minutes to days.

The EXI camera system collects images at three visible and two ultraviolet wavelengths – providing a multispectral “weather satellite view” of Mars.

The color composites presented here are assembled from images taken through EXI’s blue, green, and red filters (centered at 437, 546, and 635 nanometers). These images are “calibrated” products which have removed many of the artefacts introduced by the camera system and also provide the observation geometry information to allow for mapping.

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The contrast has been adjusted to enhance the visibility of surface and atmospheric feature.

Rapid evolution

Starting in late December 2021, EXI and EMIRS monitored a rapidly-evolving regional dust storm as it expanded to a size of over several thousand km.

As the Martian season approaches southern spring, dust storm activity typically becomes more pervasive. The Hope observatory is a valuable orbiting asset in documenting the location and evolution of dust storms on the planet, giving unprecedented observations and insight into the nature of these storms and their characterisation.


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