Living on Mars without spacesuits could be possible one day, which is why astronomers need to gather as much information as possible about the Red Planet. NASA’s Curiosity rover arrived there nine years ago, in August 2012, and it still has a lot to show to the world about our neighbouring planet.
According to CNN, NASA’s spacecraft just spotted shining clouds above the surface of Mars. Furthermore, the clouds appear as they are sprinkled with some colours. The sighting is amazing, at least for the fact that the Red Planet has a dry atmosphere, making it difficult for clouds to form.
“If you see a cloud with a shimmery pastel set of colors in it, that’s because the cloud particles are all nearly identical in size,” explained Mark Lemmon, a scientist with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “That’s usually happening just after the clouds have formed and have all grown at the same rate.
“I always marvel at the colors that show up: reds and greens and blues and purples,” Lemmon added. “It’s really cool to see something shining with lots of color on Mars.”
Almost ten years have passed
Curiosity is a rover the size of a car that was designed to mainly explore the Red Planet’s Gale crater. The rover is part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission of NASA. Curiosity was released into Cosmos on November 26, 2011, from Cape Canaveral at 15:02:00 UTC. The touchdown occurred on Aeolis Palus inside Gale crater from Mars.
Among the rover’s goals, there’s an investigation of the Martian geology and climate to see if the field inside Gale has ever offered environmental conditions for supporting microbial life.