NASA’s Curiosity rover has captured amazing images of clouds on Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover has captured images of clouds on Mars— as described in its weblog submit: “wispy puffs stuffed with ice crystals that scattered gentle from the setting solar, some of them shimmering with coloration.”
In line with NASA clouds are uncommon within the skinny environment of Mars, however normally type at its equator throughout its coldest time of 12 months. Scientists observed that final 12 months — two years in the past in Earth time— there have been clouds starting to type sooner than anticipated, so this 12 months they have been prepared.
The images will not be solely beautiful, they’ve supplied new insights to the Curiosity workforce at NASA. The early clouds are at greater altitudes than most Martian clouds— which usually hover about 37 miles above the planet’s floor and are made up of water ice. The upper-altitude clouds are doubtless made of frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice, NASA says.
Curiosity supplied each black-and-white and coloration images— the black-and-white photographs present the rippled particulars of the clouds extra clearly.
Nevertheless it’s the colour photographs taken from the rover’s mast digicam and stitched collectively from a number of images which might be actually breathtaking. NASA describes them:
Considered simply after sundown, their ice crystals catch the fading gentle, inflicting them to look to glow towards the darkening sky. These twilight clouds, also referred to as “noctilucent” (Latin for “evening shining”) clouds, develop brighter as they fill with crystals, then darken after the Solar’s place within the sky drops under their altitude. This is only one helpful clue scientists use to find out how excessive they’re.
Curiosity additionally captured images of iridescent “mom of pearl” clouds, with pastel colours all through. Mark Lemmon, an atmospheric scientist with the Area Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado mentioned in NASA’s submit that these colours come from cloud particles almost equivalent in dimension. “That’s normally taking place simply after the clouds have shaped and have all grown on the identical fee,” he defined.
Lemmon mentioned he marvels on the colours that present up in these clouds; reds and greens and blues and purples. “It’s actually cool to see one thing shining with tons of coloration on Mars.”
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