Planet Four Talk

Are these clouds?

  • flipit4u by flipit4u

    There is an area of grey between the large fan and small fan on the left lower side of the pic. They resemble clouds? I imagine clouds would look different on the Red Planet? Do you know what it is?


  • mschwamb by mschwamb scientist, translator


    I think that's just a variation in the surface color, but I haven't seen clouds in an image before at the South Pole. I'll ask one of the other team members.




  • Portyankina by Portyankina scientist


    Meg is right that the grey area in this image is surface variations.

    However, we do observe clouds on Mars. HiRISE is not meant to image clouds - there are different instruments better fit to detect them. But HiRISE sees them occasionally as well.
    Here is an example of cloud in mid-southern latitudes - it is hard to tell if the cloud is made of water or dust. Southern clouds often tend to be dust because atmosphere in the southern hemisphere is very dry. And here is most probably water cloud - over north polar areas.