Sun halo spotted on Mars by NASA's Perseverance Rover; read to know more

A spectacular Sun halo has been detected in the Martian sky by NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover, prior to this, no such incident was mentioned or captured before

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, September 17, 2022, 02:20 PM IST
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Perseverance's image of a halo around the sun was observed on Dec. 15, 2021. Perseverance captured a panorama, which scientists then wrapped around the frame. | NASA/JPL-Caltech/Mark Lemmon

A sun halo was spotted on Mars by NASA's Perseverance Rover now that NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover has spotted and captured a sun halo on the red planet, prior to this, no such incident was mentioned or captured before. This is said to be a historic event and a very big achievement, as even the researchers and scientists had lost hope of witnessing any such thing on Mars.

When conditions are ideal, ice crystals in the atmosphere on Earth can bend sunlight to give the impression of a bright spot or halo surrounding the sun.

A planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute informed Space.com about the discovery of a Sun Halo on Mars by Perseverance Rover."Perseverance really surprised us with some of the images that we got back in December," the scientist named Mark Lemmon said, as quoted by Space.com.

He said further that he has been involved in this mission for a long time now and has looked for halos for a long time now because he had many false alarm incidents that took him a while to claim the recent incident as a halo.

What is a sun halo:

A sun halo is created by ice crystals randomly oriented ice crystals in thin high cirrus clouds, according to NASA. 

The most common type of halo observed is a ring of light 22 degrees from the Sun or Moon, formed by hexagonal ice crystals with diameters less than 20.5 micrometers.

The atmospheres of Mars and Earth are very different from one another. More carbon dioxide than is found in the atmosphere of Earth is present on Mars. Even more carbon dioxide than water is present in the atmosphere of Mars. Lemmon and his colleagues investigated if the image was indeed a Sun halo or whether the brilliant ring was a result of the Perseverance camera due to this atmospheric change.

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