Dust devils on Earth have always been treated as trivial compared to tornados. Here we take a look at the monster whirlwinds of Mars. Compared to our planet’s biggest tornados, Martian dust devils are enormous—stretching upwards of five miles in the nearly airless Martian atmosphere which is less than 1% of Earth’s.
The simplest solution to this enigma may be the electric one. It turns out that dust devil’s have a powerful electric field, often exceeding 4,000 volts per meter. Any electric field with that kind of punch near the planet’s surface will lift small charged dust particles and generate a vertical current. If you have two electromagnetically induced parallel vertical current streams, you’ve got a vortex.
From tiny filament threads inside the novelty plasma ball to galactic Birkeland currents crossing light-years throughout the cosmos—it’s all the same. Electricity scales, and currents counter-rotate. The gigantic electrified dust devils are connected to planet-wide circuits and those circuits connect Mars to the Sun.
Thunderbolts Picture of the Day
“Electric Dust Devils on Mars”
Original Post March 21, 2005
Matt Finn, Immersive Audiobook Author
The Aquarian Cycle, Book 1 – “Breath of Life”
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