saskboy writes "NASA reports that Martian dust devils could be much more destructive than previously considered. You may remember this past April when it was revealed that whirlwinds actually helped the current rovers by cleaning accumulated dust from their solar cells which increased their energy collection efficiency. But after studying the mini-storms more, they realize that the dust and sand particles could cause static electricity discharges, also known as lightning. The high speed grains of sand blowing around at about 30 meters/second (70 miles per hour) are nothing to blink at either, since they can damage astronauts or equipment on the Martian surface. The height of a Martian dust devil can reach 10km (6 miles), which means it's more like the size of a terran tornado."
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