Curiosity Captures Clouds Drifting in the Sky of Mars

The Curiosity probe photographed the clouds of Mars that hovered above its position 80 kilometers high.


NASA  ‘s Curiosity rover  has captured clouds drifting across the Martian sky in an 8-frame movie made from images from a navigation camera on December 15, 2021.

The shadows of these clouds can be seen drifting across the terrain.

A second 8-frame movie taken with the same navigation camera shows clouds drifting directly over Curiosity.

What are the clouds on Mars like?

Scientists can calculate the speed at which the clouds are moving and their height above the surface by comparing the two perspectives. These clouds are very high, as they are almost 80 kilometers above the surface.

It is very cold at that height, suggesting that these clouds are composed of carbon dioxide ice rather than water ice clouds, which are normally found at lower altitudes, NASA reports.

Martian clouds are very faint in the atmosphere, so special imaging techniques are needed to see them. Multiple images are taken in order to obtain a clear and static background. That allows anything else moving within the image (such as clouds or shadows) to become visible after subtracting this static background from each individual image. (EuropePress)