Dust Devil Dance
Dust Devil Dance
ESP_066113_1160  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
Dune fields in the high southern latitudes of Mars tell a mostly similar story during local summer. The dark dunes grow warmer than the surrounding bright plains because they absorb more sunlight.

Dust devils form over the warm dunes but then dance out over the plains, spinning and performing pirouettes and leaving conspicuous dark tracks as bright dust is lifted from the surface. Loops in the tracks can often be used to discern the direction traveled by the dust devils, where in some cases, one track clearly overprints the other.

Written by: Paul Geissler   (7 October 2020)
Acquisition date
03 September 2020

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
249.4 km (155.0 miles)

Original image scale range
24.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~75 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon

Solar longitude
270.5°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  98°
Sub-solar azimuth:  30.6°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (315MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (176MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (130MB)
non-map           (191MB)

IRB color
map projected  (39MB)
non-map           (151MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (77MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (73MB)

RGB color
non map           (160MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.