NASA’s Curiosity rover spots strange, colorful clouds on Mars

Oddly, these clouds appear greater in the Mars atmosphere than those clouds scientists usually see in the world, according to NASA. Normally, if a cloud passes over Curiosity, the structures have lots of water ice and float about 37 miles (60 kilometers) above the Martian surface area.

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Curiositys navigation cam identified clouds on March 28, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS).

The image is a mix of 21 specific pictures the rover took just recently to study a weird type of wispy cloud over its Gale Crater home. Scientists realized 2 Earth years ago that the cloud type was forming earlier in the Martian year than they anticipated. This Martian year, Curiosity was watching for the early clouds, and it was not disappointed. The clouds did certainly appear starting in late January, when the robotic skywatcher started documenting the wispy, ice-rich clouds spreading sunlight in sometimes-colorful display screens.
” I constantly marvel at the colors that reveal up: greens and reds and blues and purples,” Mark Lemmon, an atmospheric scientist with the Space Science Institute in Colorado, stated in a NASA statement. “Its actually cool to see something shining with lots of color on Mars.”
Related: NASAs Curiosity rover snaps picturesque Mars selfie at Mont Mercou (photo).

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Curiositys navigation electronic camera found clouds on March 31, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS).

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

The clouds in Curiositys brand-new pictures are higher in the atmosphere, although NASA didnt define their altitude. The difference may show a various structure, clouds of frozen co2 or solidified carbon dioxide, according to the company, although the scientists arent yet confident because description.

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A composite image shows iridescent noctilucent clouds on March 5, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS).

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Clouds moving over the Curiosity rover on March 19, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS).

The clouds are at their prettiest just after sunset, when the last light makes the ice crystals glow, which is why scientists call them noctilucent, or night-shining. (Curiosity can keep an eye on these noctilucent clouds with both its black-and-white navigation cams and its color Mast Camera.).
Some of these clouds even appear a bit rainbowlike when the cloud particles are extremely similar sizes, Lemmon said, which generally happens when clouds have actually simply formed and have actually grown at the exact same speed.

It might appear like a postcard from Arizona, but this snapshot shows something a lot more unique: the planet Mars, as seen by NASAs Interest rover.