Astronomy Picture of the Day

Clouds and Sand on the Horizon of Mars

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#95212 by @ 18.10.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Clouds and Sand on the Horizon of Mars

If you could stand on Mars -- what might you see?

Like the
robotic Opportunity rover
rolling across the red planet,
you might well see vast plains of
red sand,
an orange tinted sky, and wispy light clouds.

The Opportunity rover captured just such a vista after arriving at Victoria Crater earlier this month, albeit in a completely
different direction from the large crater.

Unlike other Martian vistas,
few rocks are visible in
this exaggerated color
image mosaic.

The distant red horizon is so flat and
featureless that it appears similar to the horizon toward a calm blue ocean on Earth.

Clouds on Mars
can be composed of either
carbon dioxide ice or
water ice, and can move quickly,
like clouds move on Earth.

The red dust in the Martian air can change the
sky color above Mars from the
blue that occurs above Earth toward the red, with the
exact color depending on the density and particle size of the floating dust particles.

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