Curiosity found sparkling clouds on Mars


Curiosity continues its Martian adventure and regularly provides us with fantastic images of the Red Planet. The last photo, shimmering clouds, a well-known meteorological phenomenon on Earth, but not very common in our neighbor.

Night clouds, a montage of several photos. © NASA/JPL-Caltech

At NASA, we always want to share super cool photos. It allows us to see the progress of our technical and scientific knowledge outside of our earthly home and is a great showcase for the US Agency.

Recently, NASA provided us with images coming straight from Mars. While that Perseverance is the star of the red planet For a few months, former star Curiosity continues to make its sensors talk. And so, last March, in the middle of winter on Earth as in our neighbor, the rover was able to witness an unusual meteorological phenomenon on Mars: night clouds (from the Latin “that shines at night”).

Created by compiling 21 images.  © NASA/JPL-Caltech

Created by compiling 21 images. © NASA/JPL-Caltech

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

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

In daylight, nocturnal clouds would be hard to notice, but once the light fades, the remaining sunlight is filtered by the clouds and makes unique images. As is often the case with Curiosity, the images were taken with MastCam cameras. As a reminder, these are two 2-megapixel cameras installed under the Curiosity head, which allows it to create panoramic images using two lenses of 34 and 100 mm (equivalent to 24 x 36).

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Stan Shaw

<p class="sign">"Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator."</p>

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