There’s a Strange Cloud of Mars That Keeps Appearing and Disappearing

A weird long cloud has formed so many times over the same Martian volcano that scientists have given up and named it.

There is a quite weird cloud that has formed a lot of times over the volcano on Mars, that it already has its own name. Scientists have thought of one for it. AMEC, or Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud. It has a bright tail that is now a very popular feature over the peak known as Arsia Mons. Even if the cloud comes and goes over the volcano, it is not actually formed by the volcano. Scientists were waiting for it to come again on its yearly cycle.

According to Jorge Hernandez-Bernal, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of the Basque stated that “We have been investigating this intriguing phenomenon and were expecting to see such a cloud form around now. This elongated cloud forms every Martian year during this season around the southern solstice, and repeats for 80 days or even more. However, we don’t know yet if the clouds are always quite this impressive.”

Up until now, scientists have found the cloud making its appearance at 1,100 miles (that’s 1,800 kilometers). Its structure is made of ice water, and even if it is found over Arsia Mons, the volcano did not form it. What formed it is the local winds and how they interact with the topography.

We should also mention that the Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud does not really come, stays for a while, and then leaves. It forms, it fades in a few hours, and then it returns the next day. This is why it is so complicated to study it.

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