One recently image taken by NASA’s Perseverance Rover appears to show a breathtaking rainbow on Mars. The photograph has caused mass speculation online, as scientific evidence shows that there should be no rainbows on Mars.
On the earth, rainbows appear when the sunlight meets the right atmospheric conditions, where the light hits and is reflected from individual water droplets in the atmosphere.
However, given Mars’ cold, thin, and dry atmosphere, the chances that the image is of an actual rainbow are unlikely.
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Reddit users have speculated that it could be a “dust arc”
Further speculation on the side has come from one 2015 “Ask Me Anything” with NASA team members, where NASA’s Mars Program Office Chief Scientist Rich Zurek said it was possible that “icebergs” could appear on Mars, because while there are no water droplets, snow has been observed on the poles.
The most supported theory, however, seems to be that the “rainbow” was caused by an artifact that caused random rays of light to enter and randomly scatter inside the lens, similar to a “lens flare” in your typical camera.
This was supported by Dave Lavery, den NASA Program Manager for Solar System Research, who told Forbes, “Definitely not a rainbow. … There are only internal reflections in the camera lens. ”
“The rover is almost north of the helicopter, so the camera is looking almost straight south around 2pm local Mars solar time when these images were taken,” he said, adding that it is the main conditions for traveling light to interfere with the camera’s optics .
Whatever the reason, it’s definitely beautiful.
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