Morning clouds fill Coprates Chasma on Mars in this Nov. 25, 2015, image from the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey. No orbiter systematically observed Mars in morning sunlight before 2015. The clouds appear blue because ice particles in them scatter blue light more strongly than other colors.

April 5, 2016

Shortly after sunrise, local time, light blue clouds fill Coprates Chasma on Mars, part of Valles Marineris, the vast "Grand Canyon of Mars." The clouds are mostly ice crystals and they appear blue in color because they scatter blue light more strongly than other colors.

The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter took this image on Nov. 25, 2015. Odyssey was launched on April 7, 2001, and reached Mars on Oct. 24, 2001. However, neither Odyssey nor any other Mars orbiter had systematically observed Mars in morning sunlight before 2015.

Valles Marineris stretches more than 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) east-west near the Martian equator, and here in Coprates, the valley floor lies about 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) below the flat canyon rim. This image was made using the visual-light and near-infrared filters of THEMIS, and it represents approximately true color.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University

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