Weather models are a staple of meteorology in the case of Earth, allowing meteorologists to anticipate certain phenomena and events before they take place.
A team of NASA researchers harnessed the power of advanced supercomputers to run a simulation that can display how clouds will evolve during an average Martian day. The feat was achieved by scientists from the Mars Climate Modeling Center, which is a part of the Ames Research Center.
The visualization features the four Tharsis mountains, which can be observed as relatively large bumps of the surface. Valles Marineris is visible in the right section of the simulation. To create the simulation the researchers used data that focused on the northern hemisphere of the planet during summer.
Within the summer season, equatorial clouds will tend to develop during the night and travel when the sun rises. It is an interesting spectacle, and models like this allow researchers to learn more about the climate of the Red Planet.
Cloud movements on Mars simulated by researchers
The clouds consist of water ice but are relatively thinner in comparison to the ones present on Earth.
Martian weather is a hot topic among the scientific community, especially during recent times as government agencies and private entities are working on technology and missions that could allow humanity to reach the planet in the following decades.
While the average day has a similar length, it is import to note that Mars is considerably farther away from the sun in comparison to our planet, which means that Mars needs approximately 687 days to revolve around the sun. A more elliptical orbit also leads to seasons that are twice as long.
One of the main issues related to future colonization of the planet stems from the fact that the atmosphere is very thin and rich in carbon dioxide. Harmful radiation is also able to reach the surface, and the average temperatures gravitate around -80 degrees Fahrenheit.