December 8, 2021

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Even small Mars dust storms dry out the Red Planet, scientists find

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rThanks to data from three different Mars orbiters, scientists have determined that small, local dust storms, like their much larger counterparts, play a key role in drying out the Red Planet.

Martian dust storms can spread across the whole planet and envelope it in darkness. For a long time, planetary scientists have known that those behemoth storms were responsible for wicking away the planet’s water. But Mars was once a lush world, oceans and all, and the large dust storms can’t explain the full magnitude of Mars’ water loss. According to new research, smaller local dust storms, too, are drying out the Red Planet as well.

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