12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Whirlwind Detection by Curiosity in Gale CraterThe Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has detected dozens of whirlwinds, or vortex events, causing brief dips in atmospheric pressure, and sometimes other measurable effects.
The upper left graph of this set shows the pressure dip of one vortex detected by REMS. The time on the horizontal axis is marked as the number of seconds before or after the event. Pressure is indicated in pascals.
The lower left graph shows a corresponding dip in the amount of ultraviolet light measured by REMS, which could be caused by dust rushing by. This indicator has been rare among the vortices detected by REMS, and Curiosity's Gale Crater study area does not display the tracks of dust-lifting whirlwinds, which are common in other parts of Mars (for example at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09610). It may be that whirlwinds usually occur at Gale without lifting much dust.
The lower right chart shows a brief disruption in wind sensed by REMS in the seconds before and after a pressure-dip event.
The upper right chart provides comparisons of pressure dips measured by Curiosity (during the first 100 sols of its mission), by the Mars Pathfinder lander in 1997 and by the Phoenix Mars Lander in 2008. Although the three missions landed in different regions of Mars, they observed pressure dips of similar magnitude.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CAB(CSIC-INTA)/FMI/Ashima Research