Mars dust storms may cause mysterious ‘zodiacal light’ in Earth’s night sky


NASA’s Juno spacecraft has detected interplanetary particles that suggest Martian storms fill the solar system with dust, causing a strange haze known as zodiacal light to be seen from Earth. 

Zodiacal light is a faint column of light extending up from the horizon after dusk and before dawn. Its luminous glow is caused by sunlight that is scattered by an interplanetary cloud of tiny dust particles orbiting the sun, and reflected toward Earth. Originally, the dust particles were believed to be remnants of asteroids or comets that traveled through the inner solar system. However, new data from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter suggests that the particles are ejected from Mars during global dust storms. 



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