Are there rainbows on Mars? NASA has decided to answer these questions in the latest episode of its “Ask the Expert” series. Shared on Instagram, the video shows US Space Agency’s planetologist and Mars expert Mark Lemmon.
The answer is no. “But several other conditions on Mars are similar to those on Earth. Lemmon explained that it takes more than water to form a rainbow. Rainbows form. When sunlight passes through a spherical drop, it is reflected from the back and travels to the human eye, usually after rain. .
Lemmon said that in order for rainbows to form, water droplets are needed because they are spherical. On Mars, there are not enough water droplets. The scientist said the droplets available on Mars are 20 times smaller than human hair and 10 times smaller than droplets found in Earth’s clouds. The droplets must be at least 10 times larger to create a rainbow, Lemmon said, adding that although snow could be found in Mars clouds, it is of no use to form arcs in the sky.
So what saw the Perseverance rover happen in the dusty Mars sky in early April? After much speculation on social media, NASA rejected the idea, claiming that the arc was stray light. NASA also said that there was not enough water on Mars to condense and that it was too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere to take the form of spherical water droplets.
Lemmon also referred to this incident in the video. Although there are no rainbows on Mars, there are many Earth-like phenomena on the red planet, including clouds, storms and winds.