Are there rainbows on Mars?
According to NASA, the answer is no, even though a recent space photo appears to show a bright arc over the Red Planet.
The NASA Perseverance Mars Rover account tweeted a photo on Tuesday which appeared to show a ‘rainbow’ on Mars. However, it was actually a lens flare.
“Rainbows are created by light reflected off of round water droplets,” NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover account tweeted. “There isn’t enough water here to condense, and it’s too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere.”
A lens flare is caused by a bright light source shining into the lens, like the sun.
“Rainbows aren’t possible here,” NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover said in a tweet. “This arc is a lens flare.”
While Mars might not have rain or rainbows, it does have some other spectacular sights including the largest volcano in the solar system. The weather can be extreme though as conditions there are very cold – sometimes as frigid as -220 degrees.
In a February weather report released by NASA, the Perseverance rover recorded a temperature drop of 10 degrees (from -4 to -14 degrees) in just 30 minutes.
Many have asked: Is that a rainbow on Mars? No. Rainbows aren’t possible here. Rainbows are created by light reflected off of round water droplets, but there isn’t enough water here to condense, and it’s too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere. This arc is a lens flare. pic.twitter.com/mIoSSuilJW
The Perseverance rover landed in the Jezero Crater on Mars on Feb. 18 and is a long-term effort to explore the planet.
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Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: [email protected]
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