Viking Photographs a Martian Dust Storm
Image Not Available

Viking Photographs a Martian Dust Storm

Image Not Available
Photograph

Viking Photographs a Martian Dust Storm

1977
Gelatin silver print
Image: 19 x 24 cm
Overall: 20.3 x 25.3 cm
Museum accession
2011.0100.0006
Inscriptions verso (applied label, typed): NATIONAL AERONATICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION/ VIKING NEWS CENTER/ PASADENA, CALIFORNIA/ (213) 354-6000/
PHOTO CAPTION/
Viking 2-31/ P-18598 B/ February 22, 1977/
Viking photographs a Martian dust storm. In this picture from Viking/ Orbiter 2, a turbulent, bright bust cloud (arrow) more than 300 kilom-/eters (186 miles) across can be seen inside the great Argye Basin./ It is apparently moaving eastward under the influence of strong winds./ Large depressions like Argyre and Hellas seem to be favored locations/ for formation of dust storms. Later this year, when Mars comes clos-/est to the Sun, a local dust storm like this one may spread violently/ and cover most of the planet. A global dust storm delayed the start/ of Mariner 9's mapping mission in 1971. Although Viking scientists/ do not welcome the likely interruption of their mapping from orbit,/ the possibility of studying a global dust storm from its beginning is recognized as an unusually interesting phenomenon. The great/ Argyre Basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars is one of several/ enormous depressions created by the impact of large asteroids early/ in the planet's history. Previous Viking images and infrared data/ have shown that during winter the floor of Argyre is covered with/ carbon dioxide frost - - the south polar ice cap.
Related Media

Review and updating of the museum's collection data is ongoing.
Inclusion of an object in this database does not guarantee its availability for loan.
For permission to use images from the online collections, please contact Image Rights and Reproductions.