NASA has published its latest update on the Mars dust storm, saying it is now spanning the entire Red Planet.
The storm has been underway for about two weeks, blotting out the Sun and forcing the solar-powered Opportunity rover into a deep sleep mode as it clings to the last of its energy reservers.
The Curiosity rover, meanwhile, remains unaffected by the event.
NASA uses the term “planet-encircling,” perhaps better stated simply as a “global dust event.” This is due to a growth in the storm’s size, with it ultimately carrying some dust to Curiosity’s location on the other side of the planet.
Over the weekend, NASA explains, the dust level on Curiosity’s side more than doubled.
This has resulted in a tau rating of 8.0 in the Gale Crater, which is the highest that mission has ever recorded during its time on the planet.