Nature: Martian weather kicks into high gear at night
Sundown sparks blustery snowstorms in the Red Planet’s lower atmosphere.
When night arrives on Mars, plunging temperatures can lead to weather much worse than researchers previously thought was possible on the Red Planet. Snowstorms can spring up with whipping winds that could create problems for missions to the planet, according to a new study.
The analysis upends researchers’ previous assumptions that Martian snow falls slowly and gently from the sky. Getting a handle on the planet’s weather is important for future exploratory missions. But it could also help to explain how Mars lost a lot of its water, and what might happen to the water that remains. The study, published on 21 August in Nature Geoscience, moves researchers closer to an answer by providing the first detailed peek into what happens to the water in the Red Planet’s clouds.
Snow precipitation on Mars driven by cloud-induced night-time convection
Aymeric Spiga, David P. Hinson et al