Mars Volcano Smoke

Photo credit: The Daily Mail

Researchers are puzzled by a bizarre 900-mile-long ‘plume’ cloud on the surface of Mars, but what’s even more surprising is they believe it isn’t caused by volcanic activity. That’s right, the proposed theory is a water ice cloud ‘driven by the influence of the volcano’s leeward slope on the air flow’. “The cloud’s appearance varies throughout the martian day, growing in length during local morning downwind of the volcano, almost parallel to the equator, and reaching such an impressive size that could make it visible even to telescopes on Earth,’ said the European Space Agency. Continue reading for another video and more information.

“ESA’s Mars Express has been observing the evolution of the storm since 13 September. The formation of water ice clouds is sensitive to the amount of dust present in the atmosphere, ESA said. These images, obtained after the major dust storm that engulfed the entire planet in June and July, will provide important information on the effect of dust on the cloud development and on its variability throughout the year,” according to DM.