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15,000 dust storms that have taken place on Mars

Data within the world of astronomy is opened up in numerous different places. Records for instruments on individual spacecraft and telescopes are kept. Sometimes all that’s needed to urge new insight out of old data is to gather it all at once and analyse an entire set instead of isolated instances. that’s exactly what happened recently when a team from the Harvard Center for Astrophysics collected and analysed data about almost 15,000 dust storms that have taken place on Mars over the last eight Martian years.
The data wont to build the combined database was collected by the Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which both take daily images of the entire Martian surface. The database they developed, referred to as the Mars Dust Activity Database (MDAD) provided a spread of insights into some characteristics of the dust storms that occur so regularly on the Mars.

Comparison images of Mars taken by Hubble (left) and showing a worldwide duster that engulfed it (right). Astronomers studying dust storms within the Aonia-Solis-Valles Marineris region over eight years have found a definite periodicity in their occurrence.
For a duster to qualify to be within the database, it must cover quite 100,000 square kilometres of land, and had to be visible for quite one Martian day. There were 15,000 examples of one off the isolated events. However, the team also took the time to define the more cohesive duster activity that they noticed in several storms.
One sort of larger event is defined as a “dust storm sequence”, where a set of storm “members” travel in roughly an equivalent direction over the surface quite three Martian days. The team found 228 instances of those events and noted that they might be grouped into three different categories, counting on the dimensions and number of its component smaller dust storms.

If enough of these smaller dust storms combine, they need the potential to actually impact the general Martian climate. The researchers deemed these sorts of major sequences as those covering quite 10 million kilometres. Many of those major storms had a big build from duster activity for days beforehand, with activity increasing steadily over the course of every week. There have been 43 of those major events found within the data, and that they were the explanation for many of the changes observed in Mars’ atmosphere.
Perhaps the foremost important outcome from all this work is that the creation of the MDAD database itself, which can allow other researchers to access the newly collected data set and draw new and novel conclusions. It goes to point out that sometimes all that’s required to form a replacement discovery is to seem at the info during a new way.