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Why no rainbows in Martian skies? NASA explains

Why no rainbows in Martian skies? NASA explains

Why no rainbows in Martian skies? NASA explains
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By Dec 31, 2021 8:15:15 PM IST (Updated)

NASA had explained that the viral picture taken by Perseverance rover from the surface of Mars had captured a lens flare and not a rainbow. Mars simply does not have enough water, besides the freezing temperatures ensure that there can be hail or snow but no rain.

Mars is seen by some as the ideal planet for a possible extra-terrestrial colony, once humanity can go past Earth. The red planet has many climatic phenomena that are quite similar to those found on Earth. Clouds, storms, and more can be witnessed on the Martian surface but many have asked whether a rainbow can be found on the surface of the planet.

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US space agency NASA has decided to clear all doubts in a social media post, with planetary scientist Mark Lemmon explaining why there are no rainbows in Mars.
The reason is down to the nature of water present on the planet. While Mars has both sunlight and water, just the presence of these two factors is not enough. For rainbows to be created, water needs to be in its liquid state of matter. Neither hail nor snow can create a rainbow, but only rain can.
The Martian surface usually results in precipitation in forms other than rain due to freezing temperatures on the planet.
Additionally, Mars would need a much higher volume of rain, and thus water in order to create rainbows. The size of precipitation on the Martian surface is too small, and the volume too little, compared to that of Earth, to properly create a rainbow.
But what about the rainbow picture that the Perseverance rover had captured from the surface of Mars, where a picture clearly showed what looked like a rainbow across the sky? As NASA had explained in a Twitter post in reaction to the viral picture, this was a lens flare and not a rainbow.
Therefore, while Mars may one day be home to the first space colony for humankind, most certainly if tech billionaire Elon Musk has his way, the future colonists will not be witnessing any rainbows anytime soon without extreme changes to the red planet’s atmosphere.
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