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NASA Explains 'Rainbow' Spotted In The Sky On Mars

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

NASA Explains 'Rainbow' Spotted In The Sky On Mars

Everyone is desperate to know what secrets lurk on Mars after the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity helicopter landed on the Red Planet.

The duo are set to explore our dusty and dry planetary neighbour and collect samples for scientists to observe.

It has also been beaming photos back to Earth to show its surroundings and the latest image has people confused.

Rainbows are a regular occurrence on our beautiful rock, however it wasn't previously thought to exist on Mars...and it still doesn't.


NASA has clarified what people are looking at when they see a photo taken by the rover on Mars.

Sadly, it's not a rainbow.

"Many have asked: Is that a rainbow on Mars? No. Rainbows aren't possible here," NASA said in a statement on Twitter.


"Rainbows are created by light reflected off of round water droplets, but there isn't enough water here to condense, and it's too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere. This arc is a lens flare."

Speaking in first-person, the Rover responded to a user who still wasn't really understanding.

"I have sunshades on my front Hazcams, which were considered mission-critical (I need them for driving forward & I'm usually driving forward)," it said.

"Sunshades weren't considered essential on my back Hazcams, so you can see scattered light artifacts in their images."


The Perseverance Rover landed on Mars back in February and it was a journey that was seven months and 470-million-km in the making.

NASA said Perseverance will be tasked with searching for signs of microbial life that could have lived on Mars billions of years ago.

"It will collect rock core samples in metal tubes, and future missions would return these samples to Earth for deeper study," the space agency said.

The Perseverance landed at the Jezero Crater, where scientists believe they might find the evidence they're after.


Ken Williford, Deputy Project Scientist for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: "We expect the best places to look for biosignatures would be in Jezero's lakebed or in shoreline sediments that could be encrusted with carbonate minerals, which are especially good at preserving certain kinds of fossilized life on Earth.

"But as we search for evidence of ancient microbes on an ancient alien world, it's important to keep an open mind."

Featured Image Credit: NASA/Twitter

Topics: News, mars, Nasa, space

Stewart Perrie
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