The Perseverance rover took a photo of rare silvery clouds at high altitude, slowly floating in the sky over Mars. The photo was taken on March 18, when Perseverance lifted the camera lens up to see these silvery clouds sparkling in the twilight rays of the Sun setting over the horizon.
“These twilight clouds, also known as “sulfur”, become brighter when they are filled with crystals, and then darken when the Sun’s rays illuminate them from below. Scientists also use this effect to determine their height,” explains NASA. Thanks to the images, scientists were capable of making sure that the clouds formed at a much higher altitude than usual.
The photo was published by planetary scientist Paul Byrne from the University of Washington. Meanwhile, another planetary scientist Stuart Atkinson shared a photo comparing the silvery clouds on Earth to highlight the similarity of the two planets.
This is not the first time a Mars probe has photographed unusual clouds. In 2021, the Curiosity rover captured the shimmering clouds.
“The clouds depicted by Curiosity are at a higher altitude, where it is very cold, indicating that they probably consist of frozen carbon dioxide or dry ice,” NASA said at the time.
In the rarefied and very dry atmosphere of the Red Planet, the appearance of clouds is a very rare phenomenon. Although they can form around the equator of the planet in the coldest time of the year. But even on Earth, silvery clouds are considered an extraordinary rarity. They are usually only visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
Earlier we reported on how astronomers felt the taste and smell of a giant cloud of alcohol.
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