Environment

Red Planet’s Blue Sunset: Curiosity Rover Performs Better Than Expected From Rudimentary Camera

Red Planet’s Blue Sunset: Curiosity Rover Performs Better Than Expected From Rudimentary Camera

Red Planet’s Blue Sunset: Curiosity Rover Performs Better Than Expected From Rudimentary Camera

Sunset and sunrise attract lots of attention in many areas across the world. Watching the sunset in a beautiful valley during vacations is high on many people’s agenda. The same is true when it comes to sunrise. In a snow capped mountain range, looking at sunrise is a dream that many just see in their dreams. Very few lucky ones get to see such spectacles.

What about Mars and the sunset there? It is a dream that may not materialize for even the most daring people for decades to come.

But thankfully we have the first picture of a sunset on mars and in many aspects it looks almost identical to sunset on earth.

The new pictures released by US space agency NASA came thanks to NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. The van sized Mars rover actually recorded this view of the sun setting at the close of the mission’s 956th Martian day. The Curiosity Mars rover took the picture from its latest location in Gale Crater.

But the picture seems to be different as on Mars the fiery oranges that characterize the transition between day and night on Earth are replaced with cool blues.

While talking about the new images Mark Lemmon, a researcher at Texas A&M University’s Atmospheric Sciences department and a member of the Curiosity team says, “The colors come from the fact that the very fine dust is the right size so that blue light penetrates the atmosphere slightly more efficiently…When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the sun than light of other colors does. The rest of the sky is yellow to orange, as yellow and red light scatter all over the sky instead of being absorbed or staying close to the sun.”

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