The race to colonize Mars is ongoing. However, it is not as easy as sending over people to live in igloo cities. We’ve already discussed the obstacles that astronauts must overcome on a voyage to Mars. But there’s far more to mystify us and conquer once we get there.
The Red Planet’s geology is not fully understood, and the bits known by researchers include deadly phenomena capable of crushing the dream of human settlements. Apart from highlighting the harsh landscape, this mind-blowing world comes with epic geological mysteries and unique finds.
10 The Strange Cloud
In 2018, the Mars Express orbiter sailed past the Martian equator. Among the images beamed back was the odd photo of a cloud. The white streak stood out starkly against the red world and measured 1,500 kilometers (930 mi) long.
More curiously, it appeared to originate above a volcano. The possibility of an eruption was zero—Arsia Mons was a long-extinct volcano. In fact, the last time that Mars saw any kind of eruption was millions of years ago.
However, there was a chance that Arsia Mons spawned the vapor. Clouds often shroud the dead volcano, but the only ones resembling the 2018 fog trail are found on Earth.
Called orographic clouds, they form on the downwind side of mountains. Air gets pushed uphill where it spreads, cools, and condenses on dust particles. Oddly, clouds resembling this phenomenon have appeared near Arsia Mons’s peak every three years since 2009. The 2018 cloud fit this pattern perfectly.