New Views of Martian Weather

We have some new images from the Mars Express orbiter, added to the collection just last week. As always, they’re beautiful. This time, I noticed something of a pattern in the latest shots: lots of weather. Mars may or may not have ever been a home to living creatures, but it’s not a dead world. Here are some pictures as proof.

clouds over Mars
Clouds Over Arabia – The Mars Express orbiter views a cloudy day over unnamed craters at the border of the Acidalia Plains and the highlands of Arabia Terra. Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany) / Bill Dunford

Mars experiences many kinds of weather, but these views of drifting or hovering clouds just feel so Earth-like.

clouds over Mars
Cloudy Crater – Moreux crater in the Protonilus Mensae region of Mars fills with clouds in this recent Mars Express image. North is to the right; color is approximate. Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany) / Bill Dunford

That said, it’s a very thin and cold wind that blows on Mars.

clouds over Mars
Weather in Tantalus Fossae – Mars Express spied this view of the Tantalus Fossae region just north of Alba Patera. Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany)

But the fact that we can observe the weather day in and day out, not just on one world, but several—there’s a sign we’re living in an amazing future.

clouds over Mars
Clouds on the Horizon – A recent view from the Mars Express spacecraft: the planet’s limb on a cloudy day. The contrast in the thin atmosphere has been boosted. Credit: ESA / G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany) / Bill Dunford

This article originally appeared as a guest post on The Planetary Society site.

 

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