Mars before and during a dust storm

The Hubble Space Telescope captured a dramatic change in Mars's weather.

Courtesy NASA, James Bell (Cornell University), Michael Wolff (STScI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

The dust storm that wiped out Martian surface features
in amateur telescopes last July could hardly be more dramatic than in the pair of natural-color Hubble
Space Telescope
images released last week. When the first picture
was taken, yellow-brown dust clouds were already beginning to shroud
the Hellas basin (medium-bright area at 4 o'clock position on the limb)
and the North Polar Cap (top). They soon spread and multiplied to envelop
the globe. Both images show nearly the same Martian hemisphere, with
dark Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani near center.


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