Huge Cloud Returns Every Spring on Mars, and Scientists Can Finally Explain Why
Where can we even begin with Mars? This planet is like the weird uncle at a family gathering; you’re never quite sure what to expect from it.
First of all, let’s talk about its appearance. It’s like someone took a rusty red crayon and went to town on a blank canvas. It’s like someone decided that Earth’s green grass and blue oceans just weren’t strange enough and decided to mix things up with a Martian landscape of orange-hued deserts and towering mountains that look like they’ve been carved from rusty cheese.
And let’s not forget about its atmosphere or lack thereof. It’s like someone took all the air from Earth and put it in a balloon, then let it go, and it floated away into space. It’s like trying to breathe through a straw made of cotton candy.
Meet the Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud (AMEC)
An elongated cloud longer than an American state has been discovered on Mars by scientists in 2018 due to the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Visual Monitoring Camera. The cloud, named Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud or AMEC, is believed to be the longest of its kind in the solar system, and it’s formed due to the activity of a volcano in southern Mars, according to Mashable. The research team published their observations in 2020, and recent studies show how the volcano creates the cloud.
A scientist curious about the Martian phenomenon stated, as the same publication quotes:
I keep imagining how it would be for a little civilization to have this huge cloud every year at the same time, like maybe the solstice is something for them like a coat.
Mars is still significantly smaller than Earth, as the Red Planet measures 3,389.5 km in its radius. Our planet, on the other hand, has a radius measuring almost twice as much: 6,371 km.
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