Home / Science / The massive cloud that forms over one of the largest volcanoes of Mars is icy water vapor, not eruption

The massive cloud that forms over one of the largest volcanoes of Mars is icy water vapor, not eruption

A 900-mile-long cloud that spills from the top of Arsia Mons on the surface of Mars.
Photo: ESA / GCP / UPV / EHU Bilbao (ESA)

This week's European Space Agency released a strange photograph taken by the Mars Express orbiter of a 930-mile cloud formation emerging from the mighty, 1

2-mile high Volcano Arsia Mons on Mars emerged – a phenomenon that has been observed for weeks. There was certainly every superficial appearance that the volcano was about to blow, though that would be curious since the estimated time of the last eruption was about 50 million years ago.

There is a much simpler explanation than Arsia Mons to life, according to The New York Times: a routine meteorological phenomenon called orographic lifting. This is the case when the wind hits a massive structure, such as a mountain – Arsia Mons in this case – which, due to the lower air pressure, cools and expands. As a result, the water vapor contained in it can condense and freeze in clouds. (Orographic lift is one of the reasons why mountain regions are particularly murky on Earth.)

The Martian atmosphere may be much less dense than Earth dwellers would be accustomed to, and thus contains a tiny amount of water that it has that it would only be 20 microns deep if it were evenly distributed on the planet's surface, but it still has water-ice clouds. Dr. Eldar Noe Dobrea, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, told the Times that there was no chance that an orbiting spacecraft would not have recognized the telltale signs of an impending eruption and that there was nothing unusual about the cloud formations in the west. Page of the volcano: [19659006] Dr. Noe Dobrea said that this was clearly not a volcanic event as spacecraft discovered an increase in methane, sulfur dioxide and other gases that fall out of eruptions. Instead, this is an example of how the topography affects the weather.

… In fact, it is rare that there are no clouds over Arsia Mons. More than a decade ago, Dr. Noe Dobrea analyzes the observations of a previous NASA mission, Mars Global Surveyor, and attempts to assemble a cloud-free image of the Martian surface. But every time the spaceship had passed the western flank of Arsia Mons, it was cloudy.

"It turned out that not a single observation ever had a clear view of the surface," he said. 19659009] As the motherboard noted, the scientists discovered similar clouds in 2009, 2012, and 2015, during the winter season in Marsoberwater, which is taking place right now, accompanied by dust storms that made the clouds more visible. (These dust storms throw tiny grains far up into the atmosphere and provide an ideal anchor for freezing ice.)

Mars used to be a much more geologically active world, with recent evidence suggesting that active volcanism is on the planet Planets It is very limited compared to the distant past. For example, its massive Olympus Mons volcano – the highest known planetary mountain in the solar system with an estimated height of 13.6 miles – could be resting rather than completely inactive.

In general, the conversation wrote earlier this year that the planet has It is so much less mass than Earth and it is believed that it has lost so much of its heat energy that any remaining volcanic activity is so rare that it very unlikely to observe them, at least for as short a time as a human life. It could take millions of years for the planet's largest volcanoes to squeeze out more molten rock.

So, no, sorry, these clouds are not a sign that Mars is about to blow. But feel free to briefly entertain some of the strangest conspiracy theories, as this is all a NASA coverup to hide that they were really messing up Arsia Mons while building a secret base in cave networks.

[New York Times]

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