Published: Apr 07, 2021, 17:00 (IST)
A few days back when Nasa’s Perseverance rover shared an image of the horizon of the Martian surface, it triggered an online debate. But the discussion was not about the Martian land or its contents. It was about a supposed rainbow on the yellow sky over Mars.
The latest photograph shared by Perseverance got netizens discussing various theories on Reddit and Twitter on how a rainbow is next to impossible on Mars. But there it was.
Now, Nasa has clarified that a rainbow is not possible at all on Mars and the image shows nothing but a “lens flare”, caused by the camera lens while clicking photographs.
In a tweet, Nasa’s Perseverance rover said, “Many have asked: Is that a rainbow on Mars? No. Rainbows aren’t possible here. Rainbows are created by light reflected off of round water droplets, but there isn’t enough water here to condense, and it’s too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere. This arc is a lens flare.”
While some users still refused to believe that the colours on the sky were not from a rainbow, Perseverance said, “This is a lens flare. I have sunshades on my front Hazcams, which were considered mission-critical (I need them for driving forward & I’m usually driving forward). Sunshades weren’t considered essential on my back Hazcams, so you can see scattered light artifacts in their images.”