NASA's Insight sees cloudy days on Mars, so why does it never rain?

CNET | 5/8/2019 | Eric Mack
AnnieFoxx (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/moJm7YNEToZ49-g7xeI247q5hW4=/756x567/2019/05/08/07d6c116-1cce-4236-b966-38371f20e41a/pia23180.jpg

The Mars Insight Lander and its connected seismograph device take in a cloudy Martian sunset.

Watching the Martian clouds roll by is apparently a good way to pass time if you're a NASA robot hanging out on the surface of the red planet just listening for Marsquakes and hammering away at buried rocks.

Mars - Insight - Lander - Above - Photo

The Mars Insight lander sent back the above photo from its perch in the flatlands of Elysium Planitia showing some drifting clouds at sunset on April 25.

We think of Mars as being largely cold, dead and dry, but we were all taught that clouds are made of water vapor: water vapor that eventually falls to the surface as rain or snow. And yet, there's neither on Mars, so what gives here?

Water - Vapor - Martian - Atmosphere - Layers

"There is actually more water vapor in the Martian atmosphere than in the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere," NASA's Armin Kleinboehl explained back in 2013.

The clouds on Mars are probably made up of water ice, like the thin ice fog and haze that can form on very cold days without ever precipitating. While the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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