The blue clouds of the red planet Discover

Emil Kraaikamp is one of the more gifted astrophotographers I’ve seen. He has a 25 cm (10″) telescope that he uses to create truly jaw-dropping views of the sky. Want proof? Check this image out: it’s an animation he made of Mars, using observations he made in early December and showing the planet’s rotation over the course of about 45 minutes (a day on Mars is a half hour longer than Earth’s). You can clearly see both the south and north polar ice caps together with several dark surface features on the planet, which in itself is lovely and very cool. But what blew me away is something you may not notice immediately in the picture. Take a look on the left side of the animation. See those three aligned blue spots, with the one blue spot to the lower right? Those are called orographic clouds, formed when moist air is lifted up over an obstacle; the air cools and the moisture condenses, forming clouds. What kind of obstacle on the Martian surface could do that