The ESA’s Mars Express orbiter has actually found an amusing cloud on Mars, right near the Arsia Mons Volcano. In the beginning glimpse it appears like a plume coming out of the volcano. However it’s development is not connected to any internal activity in this long-dead volcano. It’s a cloud of water ice called an orographic or lee cloud.

The cloud isn’t connected to any volcanic activity, however its development is related to the kind and elevation of Arsia Mons. Arsia Mons is an inactive volcano, with researchers putting its last eruptive activity at 10 mya. This isn’t the very first time this kind of cloud has actually been seen hovering around Arsia Mons.

The Arsia Mons volcano on Mars as imaged by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Arsia Mons is 435 kilometres (270 mi) in diameter, almost 20 kilometres (12 mi) high (more than 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) higher than the surrounding plains), and the summit caldera is 110 km (72 miles) wide. Image Credit: By Martin Pauer (Power) - plotted using GMT and gridded MOLA data archive meg0031t.grd, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2677838
The Arsia Mons volcano on Mars as imaged by NASA’s Mars Global Property surveyor. Arsia Mons is 435 kilometres (270 mi) in size, practically 20 kilometres (12 mi) high (more than 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) greater than the surrounding plains), and the top caldera is 110 km (72 miles) large. Image Credit: By Martin Pauer (Power)– outlined utilizing GMT and gridded MOLA information archive meg0031 t.grd, CC BY 3.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2677838

The lee cloud at Arsia Mons is more than an amusing cloud on Mars. It’s an unique meteorological function that frequently happens in the world also. They’re brought on by standing climatic waves. As stratified air is required to transfer to a greater elevation by a landform, usually a mountain, the air cools and the condensation forms clouds. Whereas other cloud types can form and after that cross the sky, a lee cloud is connected to the landscape function that formed it.

The Express Orbiter has actually been seeing the cloud kind given that September 13 th. The orbiter recorded numerous pictures of this amusing cloud on Mars as it grew to a length of 1500 kms.

The High Resolution Stereo Camera on board ESA’s Mars Express snapped a view of a funny cloud on Mars that appears regularly in the vicinity of the Arsia Mons volcano. This water ice cloud, which arises as the volcano slope interacts with the air flow, can be seen as the long white feature extending to the lower right of the volcano. The cloud, which measures 915 km in this view, also casts a shadow on the surface. This image was taken on 21 September 2018 from an altitude of about 6930 km. North is up. Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images
The High Resolution Stereo Video camera on board ESA’s Mars Express snapped a view of an amusing cloud on Mars that appears frequently in the area of the Arsia Mons volcano.
This water ice cloud, which develops as the volcano slope communicates with the air circulation, can be viewed as the long white function encompassing the lower right of the volcano. The cloud, which determines 915 km in this view, likewise casts a shadow on the surface area. This image was handled 21 September 2018 from an elevation of about 6930 km. North is up. Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images

These kinds of clouds are likewise connected to dust storms on Mars. After a dust storm, the environment has plenty of strong particles called condensation nuclei. These small dust grains supply a strong surface area for the water ice to condense onto. The significant, planet-wide dust storm that swallowed up Mars last June and July offered ideal conditions for a cloud of this size to form.

As in the world, the seasons contribute in cloud activity. October 16 th is the solstice in the northern hemisphere. The top of Arsia Mons is usually covered in clouds throughout the remainder of the year, however leading up to the solstice, the majority of the big volcanoes lose their cloud cover. This cloud is the exception though. This seasonally reoccurring ice cloud has a history of forming along the southwest flank of Arsia Mons. Mars Express and other orbiters have actually likewise found it in 2009, 2012 and 2015.

The size of this standing wave cloud modifications throughout the Martian day. As early morning advances, the cloud grows longer, parallel with the equator. At 1500 kms. in length, it shows up to telescopes in the world.

The Visual Tracking Video camera on-board ESA’s Mars Express Orbiter is keeping a careful eye on the cloud. You can view what it sees at the Mars Cam page on Flickr