NASA’s Perseverance rover could be on the market on Mars since 2021, amassing rock samples and discovering hints of water, however that does not imply its predecessor has already retired from its explorations. The truth is, the Curiosity rover has been observing Martian clouds throughout twilight to construct upon its earlier survey on night-shining clouds. And on February 2nd, Curiosity captured a uncommon sight on digital camera, making it the primary time we have seen crepuscular rays (or “solar rays”) this clearly from the Martian floor.
The clouds within the photograph above are positioned at a better altitude than most Martian clouds, which sit round 37 miles above the bottom and are product of water ice. For the reason that clouds within the photograph are increased up the place it is particularly chilly, NASA thinks they’re product of frozen carbon dioxide — or dry ice, as we name it — as a substitute. They company says that observing clouds on Mars can assist scientists study extra in regards to the planet’s atmospheric circumstances, temperatures and winds.
For this explicit survey, which began in January and can conclude mid-March, Curiosity largely makes use of its coloured Mast Digicam or Mastcam. The tools permits the rover to take pictures that will present scientists how cloud particles glow over time. To create the panorama you see above, NASA stitched collectively 28 pictures taken by the Mastcam. In 2021, although, Curiosity largely relied on its black-and-white navigation cameras that supplied us an in depth take a look at clouds’ construction as they transfer.
Along with our first clear view of the Martian solar rays, the rover has additionally taken photographs of different attention-grabbing cloud formations for the reason that present survey started. One picture from January twenty seventh (under) exhibits an iridescent cloud that is formed like a feather. Apparently, the colour transitions led to by iridescence inform scientists how the cloud is evolving and about how its particle dimension is altering throughout the construction.