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HiRISE bags another dust devil…

…and this time it’s a MONSTER!

I posted a while back about how HiRISE, the mega-zoomy camera onboard the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter probe, had taken an image showing a martian dust devil in surprising clarity and detail.

Here’s what I turned it into with some Photoshop work…

That image (the original, not mine, haha!) was one of the best ever taken, and prompted lots of “ooh!”ing and “aah!!”ing around the internet. Quite a few people I showed it to said “They’ll never beat that…!”

Hmmm. Obviously MRO had other ideas.

Among this week’s image releases by the MRO team was a picture showing another dust devil – but this one dwarves the one seen earlier. Here’s the black and white basic image HiRISE took…

The “new” dust devil is down at the bottom there. She’s a beauty, isn’t she? Much bigger and more dramatic than the other one! So, I zoomed in on it, did a bit of “work” on it, and got this…

Very pleased with that… but, of course, as good as black and white is, you really want to see it in colour, don’t you? Here’s what the dust devil looked like on the RGB image – I’ve cropped that long, lonnnnng image to show just the dust devil…

Now, you can see that the whole of the dust devil – i.e its head, column of dust, its shadow and its trail across the ground – doesn’t appear on that image. That’s because the colour strip is very narrow. But that doesn’t matter; there was still more than enough for me to work on there to create a more dramatic image – not that one was *needed*, the HiRISE pic is amazingly dramatic in its own right, but the HiRISE / MRO teams have said they’re more than happy for people to take their pictures and have fun with them, so I decided to give it a go. Here’s what I came up with…

Wow… I’m more than pleased with that one! You can almost see the winds whirling and swirling around in the column, don’t you think?

But what exactly are we looking at there? Well, according to the HiRISE site, that dust devil is 20 kilometres high…!!! Take a look at the page for yourself for a lot more info, and cool video clips…


So, how do the two dust devils compare..?

…and people ask me why I love Mars so much… 🙂


3 Responses

  1. […] Staubes” für einen hinein geratenen Astronauten relativ ungefährlich. NACHTRAG: mehrere Bilder mit größerem Feld rund um das […]

  2. Thanks, Stu!
    I loved scrolling down and down and down across the plains and then – bam! There’s this giant dust devil! (Nice work with the color version- you’re a wizard!

  3. Hi, I live in Carlisle and on the 24th of April I took a photo of the moon, in the top left corner are what look like two meteors, didn’t notice them when taking shot, can you take a look and see what you think please?

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