The Martian atmosphere has clouds. NASA’s Curiosity rover has captured photos of clouds on the planet. The photos show shining clouds. According to NASA, cloud days are very rare on the Red Planet. This is because the atmosphere is very thin and dry. NASA said that clouds arrived at the planet earlier. They are formed higher than expected before. Clouds are found on Mars’ equator. Clouds are often seen during the coldest days of the planet. The phenomenon is caused when Mars is the farthest Sun. The planet’s orbit is oval-shaped. This causes extreme differences between summer and winter. When the planet is in its oval-shaped orbit, the cloud is formed. The view was captured by the Curiosity rover this time.
According to NASA scientists, clouds were formed over Curiosity earlier too. Clouds were seen previously one Martian year ago. The early clouds in the Martian atmosphere were documented by scientists in late January this year. The photos show wispy puffs. These puffs are filled with ice crystals. The particles are identical in shape and size. The crystals scattered shining light from the Sun. Some of them are glittering with color. The colorful view was snapped by Curiosity’s Mast Camera. These clouds are not the only things that are color. NASA said that clouds are among other colorful things on Earth’s neighbor. The agency said that a person can see colors in the Martian sky with the naked eye while skygazing next to the rover.
The view was captured just after the sunset on Mars. The ice crystals glow in the darkening sky. NASA described the view as spectacular. It said that such images can be vital in scientifically understanding Mars’ atmosphere and planning future missions. The clouds are, however, detected at higher altitudes than usual. Most clouds in the Martian atmosphere hover around 37 miles from the surface. The clouds are composed of water ice. But the clouds detected by Curiosity are higher than the average altitude and made of frozen CO2. Curiosity is one of the rovers sent by NASA on Mars. It is the largest rover ever sent to the planet. It landed in the Gale crater in 2012. The rover has spent more than 3000 days since its arrival.