Mars: the stunning colorful clouds documented by the Curiosity rover

The Rover curiosity from NASA I was able to document the clouds right after sunset Mars, Which in color images captured by the main camera (orMastecam”), Looks bright and colorful, with shades of pink, light blue and blue. Last Friday, NASA reported this update to The rover looking at the planet Since 2012.

Colorful clouds taken by NASA on MarsNASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

Why are the clouds colorful? It turns out that the clouds on Mars are usually 60 kilometers above the surface and are made of water ice. But these colored clouds are higher, where they are cooler, indicating they may have been made of Glacial carbon dioxide, In the solid state, that is, what we usually callDry snow“.

These ice crystals, just after sunset, reflect sunlight and generate a variety of colors that you can see in the photo.

This Mars phenomenon is caused by how the sun collides with a cloud crystal
This Mars phenomenon is caused by how the sun collides with a cloud crystalNASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

Depending NASA reportedCloudy days are rare in the thin, dry atmosphere of Mars. Generally, clouds are seen in the coldest times of the year, when the Red Planet is further away from the sun. But two years ago, they found clouds forming earlier than usual.

Therefore, this year prepare in advance (since January) to document these “early” clouds. There they also discover that it is higher than that shown later, and by how the sun collides with the ice crystals, colorful landscapes are formed.

The Curiosity probe from NASA
The Curiosity probe from NASA

Curiosity landed on August 6, 2012 at Gale Crater Air Force Base. since then It traveled just over 25 kilometers to the side of Mount Sharp, Rising in Pit center Contain sedimentary materials.

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