Washington: The Perseverance probe on Mars, sent by NASA, has clicked a series of amazing photographs of drifting clouds close before sunrise on the planet, IANS reported.
Since the atmosphere of Mars is thin and dry, clouds are rare and are only found in the planet’s equatorial region in the coldest time of the year. That is when Mars is farthest from the Sun in its oval orbit.
The Perseverance rover utilized its navigation cameras to locate the clouds on March 18, 2023. It was the 738th sol (Martian day) of the mission, the mission officials informed in a statement.
It was on February 2021, Perseverance landed with NASA’s tiny Ingenuity helicopter on the floor of the 28-mile-wide (45 km) Jezero Crater. The crater is believed to be hosted a big lake and a river delta billions of years ago.
Scientists on both the Perseverance and Curiosity rover missions are studying the formation process of Martian clouds.
In May 2021, the Curiosity rover captured shining clouds on the Red Planet. The images showed wispy puffs filled with ice crystals that scattered light from the setting Sun, some of them shimmering with colour.
The rover’s Mast Camera or Mastcam snapped colour images and the iridescent, or “mother of pearl”, clouds on March 5, 2021, the 3,048th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.
On March 31, the 3,075th sol or Martian day of the mission, the navigation cameras on the mast of Curiosity also captured black-and-white images: fine, rippling structures of the clouds, just after sunset.
Curiosity was sent to Mars to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able enough to support small life forms such as microbes. It landed on Mars in 2012.