Are there rainbows on Mars? NASA decided to answer these questions in the latest episode of their series “Ask The Expert”. The video shared on Instagram shows the planetary scientist and Mars expert of the US space agency Mark Lemmon.
The answer is no. “But some other conditions on Mars are similar to those on Earth. Lemmon explained that the formation of a rainbow takes more than just water. Rainbows are created when sunlight falls through a spherical drop, reflects off of your back and falls into usually hits the human eye after rainfall.
Lemmon said that in order for rainbows to form, water droplets are needed because they are spherical. There aren’t enough water droplets on Mars. The scientist said tiny droplets available on Mars are 20 times smaller than human hair and 10 times smaller than the droplets found in Earth’s clouds. The droplets need to be at least ten times larger to create a rainbow, Lemmon said, adding that while snow could be found in the Martian clouds, there is no point in creating rainbows.
So what did the Perseverance rover see flying over the dusty Martian sky in early April? After much speculation on social media, NASA rejected the idea, saying the arc was a lens flare. NASA also said that there isn’t enough water on Mars to condense and it’s too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere to take the form of spherical water droplets.
Lemmon also referred to this incident in the video. While there are no rainbows on Mars, there are many Earth-like phenomena on the Red Planet, including clouds, storms, and winds.