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Our Martian dust research exhibited at Astropolis in Ostend


The least hostile planet of our solar system likes to hold onto its mysteries. Maybe Mars is secretly enjoying the human attention. Maybe it gets lonely out there, with no apparent signs of life and merely the memory of rivers, lakes and volcanic eruptions. Like the ruins of a once flourishing civilization, Mars appears to want to speak to us of its past, its present and its future, and maybe warn us of the possible consequences of certain events.

The RoadMap project (ROle and impAct of Dust and clouds in the Martian AtmosPhere) combines the expertise and resources of researchers from Belgium, Spain, Denmark and Germany, who want to investigate all the questions that remain unanswered about Mars, specifically about the role and behaviour of dust and its influence on the planet's climate. What triggers the global dust storms, for example? How is dust helping water to escape from the atmosphere? How do we need to interpret the data that the orbiters, like ESA's ExoMars TGO, are sending us?

All through the summer and into autumn of this year, you can find information on RoadMap and other ongoing Mars research at the exhibition “ExoMars: Europe’s new era of Mars exploration” at Astropolis (exhibition is only in Dutch). Other than the exhibition itself, you can go see our large model of the ExoMars spacecraft and model of the NOMAD instrument (by OIP Sensor Systems), listen to guest speakers or even follow workshops.


Until October 31, 2022


Astropolis, Duinkerkseweg 16, 8400 Oostende

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Credit: Astropolis




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These dark streaks, also known as “slope streaks,” in an area of Mars called Acheron Fossae resulted from dust avalanches. The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured them on Dec. 3, 2006.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona
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Opprtunity's point of view as the global dust storm engulfs the entire red planet in June 2018, obscuring the sun.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/AMU