Data collected by NASA’s Mars InSight Lander suggests that the Red Planet once had a thick atmosphere with up to 20 percent of its surface covered in liquid water approximately 4 billion years ago. Once the planet lost its magnetic field, which protected it from destructive solar winds, much of the atmosphere was destroyed. This left surface water vulnerable, and dust storms may have taken the last of its oceans as well as lakes. Read more for two additional videos and information.
“Scientists are studying Mars’ dust storms because they could have a big impact on future manned and robotic missions. The rover Curiosity (which is nuclear, not solar-powered) got a first hand look at the storms, sending valuable data back to scientists. One key finding was that dust devils (above), or mini tornadoes, tend to disappear during large storms,” reports Engadget.