NASA says its photo of a 'rainbow' on Mars is actually a lens flare — sorry

  • NASA shared a photo from Mars that appears to show a rainbow on the red planet.
  • But NASA said it’s actually just the result of lens flare.
  • “Rainbows aren’t possible here,” it added.
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NASA released a photo of what looks like a rainbow on Mars — but said it actually just shows a lens flare.

“Many have asked: Is that a rainbow on Mars?” the Twitter account of NASA’s Perseverance rover tweeted on Tuesday.

And it gave an answer: “No.”

“Rainbows aren’t possible here,” it continued. “Rainbows are created by light reflected off of round water droplets, but there isn’t enough water here to condense, and it’s too cold for liquid water in the atmosphere.”

“This arc is a lens flare.”

A lens flare involves the scattering of light and is the same phenomenon that can make the sun look as if it has lines coming out of it in photos.

The Perseverance rover did its first drive on Mars in March.

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