NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has spotted an awesome Sun Halo in skies over Mars. The phenomenon was thought to be impossible by the scientists. Check details here.
Have you heard of Sun Halo? Several instances of Sun Halo have been seen and captured by people living in different parts of the Earth. Now, amazingly, NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has done the impossible and captured a Sun Halo on Mars. It is being said to be a never-seen-before phenomenon spotted on planet Mars. This is a truly historic achievement as even scientists had lost hope of seeing any such incident ever happening on Mars, but only until December 15, 2021. It can be known that the Sun Halo as seen on Earth is a natural phenomenon in which ice crystals surround the Sun in a ring pattern.
The information of Sun Halo being spotted on Mars by Perseverance Rover has been informed by a planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute to Space.com. “Perseverance really surprised us with some of the images that we got back in December,” the scientist named Mark Lemmon said, as quoted by Space.com.
“I’ve been involved with this for a long time, and we’ve looked for halos everywhere and in lots of images,” he added. “I looked at that and I thought, ‘I’m gonna have a hard time finding an explanation for this.’ Because everything has been a false alarm, and that just looks so much like a halo that I thought it was going to be a lot of work to figure out what was really going on. “
Know what is Sun Halo
A Sun Halo is created by randomly oriented ice crystals in thin high cirrus clouds, according to NASA. These ice crystals refract, disperse, and reflect the light to give an impression of a circular rainbow ring. According to the University of Illinois, “The halo is a ring of light 22 degrees from the Sun or Moon and is the most common type of halo observed and formed by hexagonal ice crystals with diameters less than 20.5 micrometers.” Also, the hexagonal structure of water-ice crystals dictates the size of the halo, at 22 degrees away from the sun, or about the width of two fists held at arms’ length, Space.com informed.
But is the Sun Halo same on earth and Mars? There is a huge difference in the Earth’s and Mars’s atmosphere. The Martian atmosphere contains more carbon dioxide than that in Earth’s atmosphere. The carbon dioxide is even more than the amount of water present in Mars atmosphere. Because of this atmospheric difference Lemmon and his colleagues checked if the image was actually a Sun halo or was it the Perseverance camera that created the bright ring.
“We’ve got a lot of pictures that show you what kind of features you get from dust in the sky, and we know for sure that you never get a halo from that,” Lemmon told space.com. “There were really no other candidates,” he added.
About NASA’s Tech Marvel, the Perseverance Rover
The Mars Perseverance Rover which was launched on July 30, 2020 searches for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA’s quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars, NASA informed. Strapped to the rover’s belly for the journey to Mars is a technology demonstration – the Mars Helicopter.