According to The Hill a recent image taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover appears to show a breathtaking rainbow on Mars. The photograph has caused mass speculation online, as scientific evidence shows there shouldn’t be rainbows on Mars.
However, Lisa May, who is a veteran of the NASA Mars Program and is currently Chief Technologist for Lockheed Martin Commercial Civil Space Advanced Programs, also told Forbes her initial thought was a “field of view (FOV)” artifact with the HazCam. May points out that there is no rain on Mars, but snow has been observed at the Poles. The Martian atmosphere does have water vapor in the upper atmosphere and clouds composed of water ice.
Rainbow-like artifacts on Mars may still be possible, though. A 2015 “Ask Me Anything” with NASA team members from the agency’s Jet Propulsion Lab raises another possibility. In it, NASA Mars Program Office Chief Scientist Rich Zurek suggested that “icebows” could appear over the Martian horizon in a response to a question about the possibility of rainbows on Mars. These “icebows” were previously observed during NASA’s Pathfinder mission in the late 1990s, according to the AMA. The spacecraft photographed several clouds above the Martian sky thought to be caused by ice particles. (Futurism)