Curiosity photographs the first Martian clouds

Curiosity photographs the first Martian clouds

What's the weather like on Mars? The Curiosity rover (whose history you can learn thanks to the book that can be purchased at this link) could give us a hand to find out! The NASA rover has in fact managed to photograph some cloud formations in the Martian skies, clouds that appear not so different from those we can commonly observe from the old and dear Earth, only that, due to the atmospheric composition of the Red Planet, a lot more rare of ours.

According to NASA, clouds are rare in the thin atmosphere of Mars, and usually form only in the skies of equatorial regions during the coldest period of the Martian year . Scientists have noticed that last year (on Mars, so about two years ago on Earth) there were traces of cloud formations forming earlier than expected, so "ready" to be photographed this year.

The images sent by rover not only proved stunning, but also provided the research team with additional information on the top of the planet. The first observable clouds are generally found at an altitude of about 60 kilometers above the planet's surface, and consist mainly of frozen water. The clouds that are encountered at higher altitudes, on the other hand, are probably composed of frozen carbon dioxide or dry ice, according to what NASA scholars have reported.

Credits: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

The images provided by Curiosity are both black and white and color: the black and white photos show the rippled details of the clouds more clearly, although the color ones remain undoubtedly the most spectacular, clearly showing the refraction of light. in the frozen crystals they contain in suspension.