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Emily LakdawallaMarch 31, 2009

Mars Action Weather Report: A dust event is brewing in the south

I got an email late yesterday from David Kass, one of the members of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Climate Sounder team, forwarding a report he had just issued to the rest of the orbiter's science and operations teams. In brief: over the last few days Mars Climate Sounder has detected sharply rising temperatures in some regions of the atmosphere, strong indications that normal regional dust activity in the south is escalating into what may now be a planet-encircling dust event.

(If you're wondering why David contacted me with this update, it's because The Planetary Society is the official education outreach partner on the Mars Climate Sounder investigation -- read all about the instrument, how it works, and what it's been observing over the last one and a third Mars years on our website here.)Read the full story on the development of what may be the 2009 dust storm season's first big event here.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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