Devils’ Causeways

Dust devil tracks in Russell Crater
Dust devil tracks in Russell Crater

Like a child’s random scribblings, the tracks of countless dust devils trace dark swirls across the surface of Mars in a region called Russell Crater. Dust devils – caused by surface air heated during the day rising upwards in spinning columns – are extremely common on Mars and pick up the thin Martian sand easily, revealing the darker ground beneath with their passing.

This image was taken with the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The original release can be seen here. Click the image for the full hi-res scene.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona