Dust storm on Mars has become global

The Opportunity Rover, as previously reported, is in a rather difficult position. Due to lack of energy (due to the fact that the dust storm blocked access to light and the solar panels do not generate energy in the right amount), he was forced to switch to very low power mode - all subsystems of the device were disabled, except for the mission’s chronometer. NASA hopes that at the end of the storm, the rover that has been operating on the Red Planet for more than 14 years will nevertheless turn on again and be able to contact the Earth.

However, it is too early to wait for the end of a powerful dust storm - it, according to NASA, has already acquired a global scale and has covered almost the entire planet. The storm was first detected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on May 30 and has continued to grow since then. Now even the Curiosity rover has “noticed” an increase in dust level, although it is very far from the place of the storm formation. NASA published two photographs taken by Curiosity at different times - before and during the storm: they show how much less light is now entering the surface of the planet - the day turned into dark gloomy twilight. (Curiosity is not at risk during a storm - it, unlike Opportunity, uses a nuclear generator, not solar panels.)

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS Photos taken by Curiosity: the image on the left was taken on May 21, 2018, on the right - June 17

According to NASA, the scale of the new storm can be compared with that which occurred in 1977 and was detected by the Viking-1 apparatus. Opportunity has already stood one dust storm - in 2007; she, however, was not as strong as the current one. When the last one is completed, it is still unknown - it is quite possible that it will last more than a month.

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