Icy Martian Clouds Are Formed from the 'Smoke' of Dead Meteors, Study Claims

Live Science | 6/17/2019 | Staff
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Look up from the Red Planet on the right morning, and you might see a blue sky. All year round, wispy blue clouds of ice form in the Martian atmosphere, hovering between 18 and 37 miles (30 and 60 kilometers) above the planet's surface. There, they streak across the sky like the feathery cirrus clouds we see so often on Earth.

Decades after rovers like the Mars Pathfinder snapped the first pics of these alien clouds, astronomers still struggle to explain them. To form a cloud, airborne ice or water molecules need something solid to condense onto — a fleck of sea salt, maybe, or some stray dust tossed up on the wind. Scientists long assumed that bits of surface dust lofted into the Martian atmosphere might be the source of the planet's icy blue clouds. But a new study published today (June 17) in the journal Nature Geoscience argued that this might not be the case.

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The hypothesis goes like this: Every day, 2 to 3 tons of screeching space rocks slam into the Martian atmosphere and break apart. All those midair collisions leave a lot...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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