Out of this world: Dust devil spotted on Mars


NASA's unmanned robot on Mars recently snapped a photo of a dust devil spinning on the surface of the red planet.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took the image using its navigation camera on Thursday.

Just like down here on Earth, dust devils are created by rising, rotating columns of hot air. When the columns whirl fast enough, they pick up tiny grains of dust from the ground, making the vortex visible.

It is believed that in Mars’ thin atmosphere these dust devils carry out an important role in dust cycling, shaping the global climate of the red planet, the Discovery Channel reported.