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Images taken by the Curiosity rover in the last few days in March show the Martian sky full of color and shade given by high-altitude cloud formations, which may consist of frozen carbon dioxide.
The sky of mars
“With so much brilliance and so many things
A splendor appeared to me in two rays …
So encrusted that they did in the depths of Mars
Those rays are the venerable sign. ”
The story of the Mars Sky created by NASA differs from that of Dante (Paradiso, Canto XIV), but in some ways it is no less poetic. To inspire those who wrote the new pages by commenting on Mission Rover Curiosity They were the last pictures The little robot that has been in operation for nearly ten years sent it (Join now to persevere). Pictures like the one above show gorgeous and colorful layers of clouds, View reconstructed from 21 individual images They are connected to each other and colorful so that the scene appears as a living human eye sees it. These photos were taken on March 19 – Sol 3063, also called “sol” – show.Thin locks filled with ice crystals Which scattered light from sunset, and some of it sparkles with colors ».
Dry and thin weather
Cloudy days are rare in the thin, dry Martian atmosphere. Clouds are usually found At the equator of the planet in the coldest time of the year, When Mars is farthest from the Sun in its elliptical orbit. This gif and later was captured by the rover’s navigation cameras. Immediately after sunset on 3072 ADMarch 28.
The Curiosity team discovered that these clouds – Earlier than usual cloud formation period They are at elevations higher than normal. Most of the Martian clouds form no more than 60 kilometers and are composed of water ice. But the clouds dominated by Curiosity It is located at a higher elevationIt is very cold, which indicates that it is most likely made of frozen carbon dioxide (or dry ice).
As we read on NASA website, “The The thin wavy structures of these clouds It’s easier to see images from Curiosity’s black and white navigation cameras. But they are the color images of mast camera or mastcam (Which is located at the top of the robot arm, see image below, editor) For the rover that really shines, literally. ‘ After dark, These twilight clouds are known as “nocturnal”It becomes brighter when filled with crystals, then darkens after the position of the sun is lower than its height.
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