A popular new video shows the central but relentless view of how clouds move over the surface of Mars.
The images were taken from cameras mounted on the Curiosity Rover, which is still exploring the surface of the red planet.
While the recent Perseverance rover has been at the heart of much of the focus on Mars in recent weeks, it has been one of many movements on the surface. Others like Curiosity continue to try to understand more about the planet.
The eight new images, taken with the navigation camera on board that robot explorer, show about five minutes of time on the surface. Thus, the clouds can be seen moving in a manner that is very similar to those clouds on Earth.
They were killed last week and shared by Paul Byrne, a scientist at North Carolina State University.
Although the clouds look similar to us, the feeling is very different on the red planet – which, among other differences, is very thin – meaning they have to shape in different ways. .
To form clouds, water molecules need to circulate around grains. On Earth, that can be grains of dust carried by winds, but Mars doesn’t have a thick enough feel to form them so easily.
On Mars, these are thought to be the result of at least part of the dust formed when space debris hits a Martian atmosphere. That creates the grains around which the clouds can form, and then sees them as they move over the surface.
The thin feeling is also the reason why the clouds on Mars are like cirrus clouds on Earth – whispy and light, rather than thick and puffy.
The clouds on Mars can also be “noctilucent” – lit by the Sun, even at night, because they are so high above the Martian surface.
It’s not the same weather on Mars as it is on Earth but in fact it’s very different. In 2008, the Phoenix landowner discovered that snow was falling on the surface.
But while that snow looks similar to our own in images, it is made up of carbon dioxide – like dry ice.