Awesome! IMPOSSIBLE Sun Halo spotted on Mars; tech marvel Perseverance Rover creates history | Tech News

Awesome! IMPOSSIBLE Sun Halo spotted on Mars; tech marvel Perseverance Rover creates history

NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover has spotted an awesome Sun Halo in skies over Mars. The phenomenon was thought to be impossible by the scientists. Check details here.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Sep 17 2022, 09:47 IST
Space Hailstones! Five dangerous asteroids Hurtling towards the Earth this week, warning issued
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
1/6 The next few days are set to be terrifying for Earth as five different asteroids will be approaching our planet. All of these asteroids are at least a hundred feet in diameter and can easily destroy an entire city, if they end up crashing into our planet. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory have revealed the details around these space rocks. (HT_PRINT)
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
2/6 Tomorrow, September 15, a 120-foot wide asteroid named 2020 PT4 will be approaching the Earth. At its closest, it is expected to come as close as 7.1 million kilometers to the Earth. It is moving at the speed of 38,060 kilometers per hour. The current prediction is that the asteroid is not likely to strike the Earth. (Pixabay)
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
3/6 This 250-foot wide asteroid is called 2022 QD1. Capable of destroying an entire city with just the impact damage, this asteroid will be approaching the Earth on September 16 and coming as close as 7.4 million kilometers to the Earth. The asteroid is traveling at the speed of 34,200 kmph. (Pixabay)
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
4/6 A gigantic 390-foot wide asteroid will be coming to our neighborhood on September 18 and will be coming dangerously close to the Earth at a distance of 4.7 million kilometers. Named 2005 RX3, it is also the fastest of the group, traveling at the speed of 62,856 kmph. (Pixabay)
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
5/6 Accompanying 2005 RX3 on September 18 will be 2022 QB37, a 180-foot wide asteroid which will come as close as 6.5 million kilometers to the Earth. It is traveling at the speed of 33,192 kmph. (Pixabay)
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
6/6 Finally, on September 19, 2022 QJ50 will be hurtling towards the Earth at the speed of 36,720 kmph. The asteroid is likely to pass the Earth at a distance of 4.2 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars
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Know about the Sun Halo spotted in skies over Mars here. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Mark Lemmon)

Have you heard of Sun Halo? Several instances of Sun Halo have been seen and captured by people living in different parts of the Earth. Now, amazingly, NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover has done the impossible and captured a Sun Halo on Mars. It is being said to be a never-seen-before phenomenon spotted on planet Mars. This is a truly historic achievement as even scientists had lost hope of seeing any such incident ever happening on Mars, but only until December 15, 2021. It can be known that the Sun Halo as seen on Earth is a natural phenomenon in which ice crystals surround the Sun in a ring pattern.

The information of Sun Halo being spotted on Mars by Perseverance Rover has been informed by a planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute to Space.com. "Perseverance really surprised us with some of the images that we got back in December," the scientist named Mark Lemmon said, as quoted by Space.com.

"I've been involved with this for a long time, and we've looked for halos everywhere and in lots of images," he added. "I looked at that and I thought, 'I'm gonna have a hard time finding an explanation for this.' Because everything has been a false alarm, and that just looks so much like a halo that I thought it was going to be a lot of work to figure out what was really going on."

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Know what is Sun Halo

A Sun Halo is created by randomly oriented ice crystals in thin high cirrus clouds, according to NASA. These ice crystals refract, disperse, and reflect the light to give an impression of a circular rainbow ring. According to the University of Illinois, "The halo is a ring of light 22 degrees from the Sun or Moon and is the most common type of halo observed and formed by hexagonal ice crystals with diameters less than 20.5 micrometers." Also, the hexagonal structure of water-ice crystals dictates the size of the halo, at 22 degrees away from the sun, or about the width of two fists held at arms' length, Space.com informed.

But is the Sun Halo same on earth and Mars? There is a huge difference in the Earth's and Mars's atmosphere. The Martian atmosphere contains more carbon dioxide than that in Earth's atmosphere. The carbon dioxide is even more than the amount of water present in Mars atmosphere. Because of this atmospheric difference Lemmon and his colleagues checked if the image was actually a Sun halo or was it the Perseverance camera that created the bright ring.

"We've got a lot of pictures that show you what kind of features you get from dust in the sky, and we know for sure that you never get a halo from that," Lemmon told space.com. "There were really no other candidates," he added.

About NASA's Tech Marvel, the Perseverance Rover

The Mars Perseverance Rover which was launched on July 30, 2020 searches for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA's quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars, NASA informed. Strapped to the rover's belly for the journey to Mars is a technology demonstration — the Mars Helicopter.

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First Published Date: 17 Sep, 09:47 IST
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