Dust devils on Mars create a giant electromagnetic fields

22.04.2004

22.04.2004


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The conclusion is based on studies conducted in Arizona and Nevada, where scientists have searched for dust devils and move right through them.

The experimenters found unexpectedly large electric field with an intensity exceeding 4 kilovolts per meter.

The study was conducted Goddard (Goddard Space Flight Center) U.S. space agency. The goal — to understand what surprises may bring dust storms on Mars.

Dust particles are electrified in a tornado, because they rub against each other.

But in the past, scientists believed that the positive and negative particles are evenly mixed, keeping the total charge to zero.

Instead, it was found that smaller particles tend to get a negative charge, and the wind blows them up.

Heavier particles are positively charged, and more often remain closer to the ground surface.

This separation of charges creates a giant battery. And because the particles are in motion, they also create an alternating electromagnetic field.

On Mars, at a lower gravity and lower atmospheric dust devils can be five times larger than the earth, and can grow to a height of 8 km.

All of the above phenomena are likely to occur in the Martian dust tornado, but to a much larger scale.

So, now you need to think about how to protect astronauts and equipment from the effects of this phenomenon, the researchers conclude NASA.

21.04.2004

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