NASA Curiosity Rover captures rare photographs of clouds on Mars

Clouds drift across the sky above a Martian horizon in this photograph captured on July 17, 2017 by the Navcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University

Last month, NASA’s Curiosity Rover captured something (appropriately enough) curious in the Martian sky: clouds. Specifically, Curiosity snapped several sequences of “wispy, early-season clouds resembling Earth’s ice-crystal cirrus clouds” that NASA is calling “the most clearly visible so far” since the Rover landed 5 years and 5 days ago.

As NASA explains in a news release:

Researchers used Curiosity’s Navigation Camera (Navcam) to take two sets of eight images of the sky on an early Martian morning last month. For one set, the camera pointed nearly straight up. For the other, it pointed just above the southern horizon. Cloud movement was recorded in both and was made easier to see by image enhancement.

Each sequence of 8 images was enhanced and turned into an animated GIF:

To learn more about these photos and the science behind why there are clouds on Mars, and why they were a lot more common billions of years ago, head over to the NASA news release by clicking here.


All photos courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/York University

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