A strange cloud on Mars was water vapor, not the eruption

The day before yesterday we wrote about the strange cloud that appeared above the surface of the red planet, reminiscent of a train. The mysterious photo was published by the European space Agency, it took the Orbiter Mars Express. The train was thrown 20 km of the volcano. Of course, he immediately attracted the attention of scientists: the last eruption took place 50 million years ago, so it is unlikely that this eruption. It turns out there’s a much simpler explanation.

The New York Times writes that in fact this cloud was an ordinary meteorological phenomenon called orographic lift. This occurs when the wind beating on the massive structure like a mountain — Arsia Mons in this case — then rises, cools and expands because of the low atmospheric pressure. The result is water vapor, contained within, condenseries and freezes in the clouds. (Orographic lifting is one of the reasons to why on Earth the mountainous regions, typically, especially in the cloud.

The Martian atmosphere can be much less dense than earth, and contain so little water that if it is stretched on the surface of the planet, it has formed a global ocean with a thickness of 20 microns. And yet, she has clouds of water ice. Dr. Eldar Noe, Dobrea, senior researcher of the Institute of planetary Sciences, said that the Orbiter had no chance not to notice the signs of the coming eruption and that there is nothing unusual in the formation of clouds on the Western side of the volcano.

Dr. Noe, Dobrea claims that this event is clearly not volcanic, because the spacecraft would have detected increasing levels of methane, sulfur dioxide and other gases that emerge from the eruption.

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