What would be a good way to explain dangerous winds on a rocky planet like mars? I'm looking to create a dangerous situation for atmospheric pilots trying to land, specifically for sudden changes in wind direction that would be invisible.

Is this at all plausible, or would I have to drastically change atmosphere density or temperature to explain it?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The very boring movie "The Martian" got away with displaying dangerous but impossible winds on Mars and still got hailed as extremely accurate scientifically. Anyhow, why do you think this is an issue? What is keeping you from just writing/whatever that there are dangerous winds that make landing hard? Btw, nobody can teill you if you have to change the density or temperature if you don't tell us the starting values? Mars? It sounds as if you only use Mars as an example for "rocky" and not for temperature and so on $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Aug 16, 2018 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 I mean change them radically compared to mars' existing situation. Sorry, that wasn't clear. The reason I don't just say it is because I want to give an explanation too (the character describing the dangers is known for that), and also I want to design the planet with this in mind and if it turns out making it warmer is the easiest way, I'll take that into account in other situations as well. $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2018 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


Wind is a result of air pressure systems, which are in turn the result of heating and cooling of the air.

The Sun provides heat but with the incredibly thin atmosphere of mars it can't keep most of it and such these systems don't develop efficiently.

Sudden wind changes can happen simply with the introduction of another pressure system into an area with two or more already.

You're basically wanted to create turbulence for the pilots, this occurs in a number of ways and most often when moving between pressure systems.

Basically you need to create these systems.
A thicker atmosphere will almost certainly be a must, how you choose do this is up to you.
I would also recommend thermal reactions on the planet, mostly volcanic activity as this will create so more random patches you're looking for.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .