NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in August 2012, has now relayed a spectacular video of clouds moving on the red planet. The footage was captured on March 19 2021, using the navigation cameras attached at the top of the rover, The five-minute clip was shared online by Dr Paul Byrne from North Carolina State University and has triggered speculations that the clouds were the same as the Earth.
According to a report by the Independent, the five-minute footage was a result of eights separate visuals which were combined together. The video shows ‘noctilucent’ clouds passing gently over the martian surface. The ‘noctilucent’ clouds are placed high above the ground allowing them to glint even during the night by reflecting sunlight.
Clouds of what?
I thought the notion was that Mars has a very thin atmosphere so what’s with the clouds?ð¤·ð½âï¸
— toby (@tobiomoty)
I noticed the sedimentary rock layers. I’m curious if those are water or wind deposit layers?
— Jason King – Vaccinated ð´âï¸ðµðð¿â·ð¥¾ (@SkepticCyclist)
Clouds on Mars is really curious. What does it consist of, if not water vapour?
— PÄ±nar Tan (@PinarTan)
Are they similar to the clouds on Earth?
As per the experts at the European Space Agency (ESA), the clouds formed on Mars are totally different from those on the Earth, primarily due to the discreet environmental conditions. In the breakdown of the composition of the environment, the agency explained that while the atmosphere on Earth consists mainly of oxygen and nitrogen, that of Mars is made up of over 96 per cent carbon dioxide. Additionally, the thin atmosphere of Mars causes light clouds to form above the surface, while the clouds on Earth are mostly thick. The dust formed when space debris hits the atmosphere of the planet is also believed to be responsible for cloud formation.
Image Credits: ESA
Last week, NASA’s Perseverance rover sent sounds it recorded while driving on the red planet. The bangs, pings and rattles of the robot’s six wheels were recorded using the ‘sensitive’ EDL microphone that was installed to help “take the public along for the ride” during its touchdown and in the aftermath.
“More than 16 minutes of sounds from Perseverance’s 90-foot (27.3-meter) drive on March 7 were captured by Perseverance’s entry, descent, and landing (EDL) microphone, which remains operational on the rover after its historic touchdown on Feb. 18,” NASA said.
(Image Source: @ThePlanetaryGuy/Twitter)