Curiosity found sparkling clouds on Mars

Curiosity found sparkling clouds on Mars
Curiosity found sparkling clouds on Mars

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Curiosity continues its Martian adventure and regularly offers us fascinating images of the red planet. Latest photo, scintillating clouds, a meteorological phenomenon known on Earth, but not so common in our neighbor.

Noctilucent clouds, montage of several pictures. © Nasa / JPL-Caltech

At NASA, we like to share always very impressive images. They allow us to see the progress of our technical and scientific knowledge outside our terrestrial home and are a nice showcase for the US agency.

Recently, NASA gave us images coming directly from Mars. While Perseverance has been the star of the Red Planet for a few months, the previous star Curiosity continues to make its sensors talk. Thus, last March, in the middle of winter on Earth as in our neighbor, the rover was able to witness a rather unusual meteorological phenomenon on Mars: noctilucent clouds (from the Latin “which shines in the night”).

Composition made by assembling 21 images. © Nasa / JPL-Caltech

Composition made by assembling 21 images. © Nasa / JPL-Caltech

These are clouds that appear to be made up of bright filaments, formed high up in the Martian atmosphere and made up of frozen carbon dioxide. They are among the most colorful things you can see on Mars, which usually offers only shades of ocher.

Animation based on images from Curiosity. © Nasa / JPL-Caltech

In broad daylight, it would be difficult to observe noctilucent clouds, but as soon as the light fades, the remaining rays of the Sun are filtered by the clouds and provide unique images. As is often the case with Curiosity, the photos were captured using MastCam cameras. As a reminder, these are two 2 Mpx cameras installed under the head of Curiosity, which allow it to create panoramas using two 34 and 100 mm lenses (in 24×36 equivalent).

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Curiosity sparkling clouds Mars

 
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