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ISRO's Mars expedition shows how dust storms extend the atmosphere of the red planet

 ISRO's Mars expedition shows how dust storms extend the atmosphere of the red planet


Information coming from ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) show that dust storms on the Red Planet heat up and expand its upper atmosphere, causing some of its gases to pass into outer space.

The planets of the Solar system continuously lose their atmosphere to outer space. The rate of this loss depends on the size of a planet and the temperature of its upper atmosphere.

Since Planet Mars is a relatively small planet as compared to Earth, it is losing its atmosphere at a fast pace. However, ISRO has now discovered how this loss is altered by changes in the upper atmospheric temperature on Mars.

Characterization of the upper atmosphere of Mars is extremely important to understand this loss rate. This was the main goal of one of Mars' recent missions such as NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) and ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).


In the first week of June 2018, a dust storm started on Mars which engulfed the entire planet till the first week of July 2018. During this time, the Mars orbit of India saw a low of 155 km going down to a height on the evening of Mars.

By analyzing the data, the scientists found that the upper atmosphere was undergoing a period of warm and expanding as a dust storm slowly enveloped Mars in a month.

The team also estimated that the warming and expansion of the Global Dust Storm quickly reaches a part of its atmosphere up to 220 km of exobase altitude. The exobase is the outermost region of the planet's atmosphere.

Any hot gases above the exobase altitude are likely to be carried to higher altitudes and subsequently to the outdoor location. The study found that Mars' atmosphere survived as a result of the 2018 global dust storm.

This photos are the actual footage of Mars
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