Did NASA's Perseverance rover just capture a 'rainbow' on Mars? Image inside!

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Apr 06, 2021, 10:28 AM(IST)

A representative image of Mars Photograph:( Reuters )

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NASA’s Perseverance rover continues to offer riveting insight into life on the Red Planet, and its Hazard Avoidance Camera has now clicked an image of what appears to be a “rainbow”

Rainbows are pretty common on Earth, but our celestial neighbour Mars recently witnessed a “rainbow” of its own, unlike anything we have ever seen. 

A prerequisite for rainbows is naturally rain and sunlight on Earth. Mars, on the other hand, has a much drier atmosphere.

rainbow
Image courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Perseverance rover continues to offer riveting insight into life on the Red Planet, and its Hazard Avoidance Camera has now clicked an image of what appears to be a “rainbow”.

Also read: An astronomer has created video on Saturn's spinning rings

But Mars does not get enough rain to sustain rainbows, so it qualifies more as a “dustbow”. Scientists across the world prefer the term, as the "dustbow" was caused by dust instead of water droplets.

But it is entirely possible that there was no “bow” at all, that it showed up on the camera as a result of a lens flare, whereby rays of light enter the camera and scatter light across the lens.

Also read: An exploding star may have killed life on Earth millions of years ago

Even though “dustbows” may be new for all of us, Mars is no stranger to “icebows”, as put forward by NASA during an ask-me-anything session in 2015.

“Icebows” on Mars were first observed in 1990s during the Pathfinder mission. The aircraft photographed clouds above the Martian sky, which they thought was caused by ice particles.

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