Dust storm on Mars.
Credit: CNSA

China’s Mars orbiter – Tianwen-1- has taken imagery of dust storms on the Red Planet, of the country’s Zhurong rover, as well as NASA’s Perseverance rover.

Released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday, the new pictures with a resolution of 0.5 meters were captured by a camera on the probe, which has been operating in orbit for 609 days.

The Tianwen-1 orbiter has monitored dust activities in the northern hemisphere of Mars since late January and sent back pictures of regional dust storms in February. The Mars mission was launched on July 23, 2020.

Photo taken by the Tianwen-1 orbiter shows NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance and blast marks from Sky Crane. Credit: CNSA

Dusty weather

Reports China’s Xinhua news agency, while the Martian northern hemisphere is entering the autumn season, during which there will be frequent dust storms, no obvious dusty weather has been observed in the Zhurong rover’s inspection area, citing the CNSA.

China on Thursday also unveiled a picture taken by the Tianwen-1 orbiter on March 7, showing NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance while imaging the Jezero Crater, about 656 feet (200 meters) southeast of the probe’s landing site.

In addition, the Zhurong rover snapped selfies on January 22 that show a layer of dust on the Mars machinery, a build-up that is in contrast to images taken shortly after it first wheeled onto the planet.

Credit: CNSA

Credit: CNSA

On a roll

Dust can reduce rovers’ power supply, but Chinese technologists have specially designed the rover’s solar wing to offset the efficiency decline caused by dust coverage. CNSA reports that the rover now has sufficient energy to continue its exploration on Mars.

The Zhurong rover has been working on the surface of Mars for 306 Martian days, traveling a total of a little over 1 mile (1,784 meters). A lander, carrying the rover, performed a successful soft-landing on Mars on May 14, 2021.


Credit via Twitter: WLR2678@TheElegant05 High-res version available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ySUwcbhex8mvjpFSOnus50iTuoMwTzSM/view

For video showing the newly issued Tianwen-1 imagery and photos from the Zhurong rover, go to:



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