What does a sunset look like on Mars?

For a few years, we have known the shape of a sunset observed from the Red Planet. And it wants to be different from the spectacle offered to earthlings.

The planet Mars, like ultimately all those on which humans have not (yet) set foot, crystallizes a series of questions. Not necessarily the most talked about, the question of sunsets on Mars has nevertheless given rise to an answer that it would be a shame to overlook. It was shared on the NASA website more than seven years ago.

Sunsets on Mars: not red, not orange

It was thanks to NASA’s Curiosity rover that on April 15, 2015, pictures of a sunset from Mars were taken. And they didn’t paint a show that was mostly red or orange. These colors even appeared completely absent in the visual report that was made, and for the sake of precision, the rover recorded its first sunset in color.

The bluish hue explained

The sunset, captured in Gale Crater between two dust storms, was actually blue. In another article on the site, Mark Lemmon of the Curiosity team explains the phenomenon: “The colors come from the fact that the very fine dust has the right size for blue light to penetrate the atmosphere a little more effectively”.

Because closer to the direction of the sun

“When blue light scatters on dust”continues Mark Lemmon, “it stays closer to the direction of the sun than light of other colors. The rest of the sky is yellow to orange as the yellow and red light spreads across the sky instead of being absorbed or staying close to the sun.”

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