Curiosity Rover captures Earth-like clouds drifting above Martian surface

NASA’s Curiosity Rover that landed on the Red Planet in August 2012 had one key mission – determine if Mars ever was, or is, habitable to microbial life.

The Curiosity Rover, which is about the size of a MINI Cooper car was equipped with 17 cameras and a robotic arm and also includes a host of specialized laboratory-like tools and instruments.

In its eight-plus years on the Martian surface, the rover continues to try and understand the neighbouring planet.

A recent video shows an uncanny scene as clouds drift above the planet’s surface. The images were shot from cameras mounted on the Curiosity Rover. A series of eight images that were taken by the navigation camera onboard the robotic explorer shows about five minutes of time on Mars. The visuals show the clouds can be seen moving similar to those on Earth.

North Carolina State University scientist Paul Byrne shared the visuals taken last week by the Curiosity Rover.

In the following tweet, Byrne said that the images are a set of eight images taken by Mars Curiosity’s right navigation camera. ‘The rocky outcrop in the foreground is a seven-meter cliff’, nicknamed as ‘Mont Mercou,’ by the rover team, the caption further mentioned.

The atmosphere of Mars is very different when compared to Earth. For clouds to form water molecules have to condense. Mars lacks a thick enough atmosphere to form them so easily. These clouds are thought to be the result of partly dust that is created when space debris hits its atmosphere. These clouds are lit up by the Sun even at night time due to being high up above the Martian surface.