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NASA rover takes pictures of phenomenon on Mars that has never been observed before


NASA's Curiosity rover is currently observing clouds on Mars. In doing so, he photographed a phenomenon that had never been observed before.

NASA's Curiosity rover is currently observing clouds on Mars.

In doing so, he photographed a phenomenon that had never been observed before.

Boulder – The NASA rover “Curiosity” has been exploring Mars for more than ten years, but it has never taken such a picture before: On February 2, 2023, the sun illuminated a cloud bank as it set on the red planet and “Curiosity ' photographed the resulting effect.

So-called “cloud rays” can be seen.

The direct rays of the sun are blocked by the clouds, but their rays emerge at the edge.

As the US space agency Nasa reports, it is the first time that cloud rays have been seen so clearly on Mars.

Curiosity picked up the phenomenon as part of a new study.

The rover has been observing clouds at dusk since January.

The observation campaign will run until mid-March.


Special "rays of the sun" on Mars: The NASA rover "Curiosity" photographed this phenomenon called "cloud rays" on the red planet.

It's the first time a mission to Mars has seen and photographed the "cloud rays."


NASA's Curiosity rover captures an unusual image on Mars

Colors can be seen in the photo of the cloud rays, the clouds seem to shimmer reddish and bluish.

Another image taken by Curiosity on January 27, 2023 shows a cloud shaped like a feather.

The unusually shaped cloud is illuminated by sunlight, which has a breathtaking effect: the cloud glows in rainbow colors.

"When we see iridescence, it means that a cloud's particle sizes are identical to those of its neighbors in every part of the cloud," explains Mark Lemmon, an atmospheric scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder.

"If we look at the color transitions, we see that the particle size changes in the cloud.

This tells us how the cloud is evolving and how the size of the particles is changing over time.”


A plume-shaped cloud in the sky over Mars.

NASA's Curiosity rover photographed the cloud shimmering in rainbow colors.

Researchers can derive some information from the colors.


Clouds on Mars reveal a lot about the planet

Both shots, both the cloud rays and the shimmering feather, were taken as panoramas by "Curiosity".

Each of the images was assembled from 28 exposures and edited to bring out the colors clearly, according to NASA.

Only a few months ago, the NASA rover "Perseverance" also managed to take an impressive picture in interaction with the sun.

Mars: These rovers and spacecraft explore the red planet

Mars: These rovers and spacecraft explore the red planet

Clouds on Mars can reveal a lot to researchers.

By observing clouds, experts can learn more about the composition of the Martian atmosphere and temperature.

The clouds also contain information about the winds on the red planet and the weather in general.

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As a rule, clouds on the red planet are no higher than 60 kilometers above the surface and consist of water ice.

According to the NASA researchers, however, the clouds in the current images appear to be in higher regions where it is colder.

Therefore, experts assume that they are made of carbon dioxide ice (known as dry ice).


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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