Curiosity Mars rover took pictures of Martian clouds scoot and posted the time-lapse on the NASA official website. As reported by the administration, these Martian clouds turned the clearest during the period of overall Curiosity activity.
Red Planet atmospheric pressure is about 100 times lower than on Earth. Notwithstanding, Mars still has ice-crystal clouds. They appear at the altitude of 10-30 km and higher, which makes them look similar to silvered clouds on our planet. Besides, Earth clouds emerge at the high of 80 km (in mesosphere layers) and reflect sunrays creating sunset and sunrise shining.
At the dawn of July 17, Mars rover conducted the last photo shoot. Red Planet had two months remaining to aphelion (the most distant point in an orbit around the Sun). Normally, clouds can be observed a bit earlier but this time they appeared as early as never, according to the scientists. Moreover, not long before the noon, the clouds disappeared.
Curiosity has embarked on its mission on August 5, 2012. It is equipped with a drill and a spectrometer to investigate the chemical composition of Mars. Besides, the rover has also detected perchlorates that enable the liquid water existence on the planet. Salt only, however.
Get an overview of the global space market
Sign up for industry news