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Thursday, January 27, 2022

NASA Picture Of Ingenuity Did Not Seize A Martian Rainbow

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NASA launched a shocking picture of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on the floor of the planet because the Perseverance rover moved away from it. For some folks on social media, nevertheless, the arc characteristic within the background of the picture caught their eye. Is it a rainbow? Whereas that’s an intriguing query, right here’s a proof of what you’re actually seeing.

Earlier than the reason, it’s value noting that Ingenuity flights are scheduled for no sooner than April eleventh. Based on the NASA web site, the target of the mission is, “A know-how demonstration to check the primary powered flight on Mars.” Ingenuity hitched a journey to Mars on the Perseverance rover. The NASA web site goes on to say, “For the primary flight, the helicopter will take off a couple of ft from the bottom, hover within the air for about 20 to 30 seconds, and land.” Whereas that will sound “meh” to a few of you, take into account that this could truly be the primary powered flight of a human plane system throughout the skinny Martian ambiance. Over time, greater altitude and longer distance flights are deliberate.

Okay, let’s get again to the picture above and the arc characteristic within the sky. Many individuals referred to it as a rainbow on social media. Others speculated that it was attributable to ice crystals in Martian excessive clouds. Some argued that it was a discipline of view artifact of the digicam lens. What’s the right reply? I reached out to my pal and colleague Lisa Might who’s a veteran of the NASA Mars Program. She is at present Chief Technologist for Lockheed Martin Business Civil Area Superior Applications. Her preliminary thought was a “discipline of view (FOV)” artifact with the HazCam. Might factors out that there isn’t any rain on Mars, however snow has been noticed on the Poles. The Martian ambiance does have water vapor within the higher ambiance and clouds composed of water ice.

Might referred me to Dave Lavery at NASA Headquarters who informed me, “Positively not a rainbow….It’s simply inner reflections within the digicam lens.” He in contrast it to if you get “lens flare” in every other digicam system. He identified that, “The rover is nearly due north of the helicopter, so the digicam is wanting virtually straight south at about 2:00pm native Mars photo voltaic time when these photographs have been taken.” Based on Lavery, who’s Program Govt for Photo voltaic System Exploration on the nation’s house company, these situations are optimum for stray gentle seize within the digicam optics.



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