On April the 15th, NASA’s Mars rover has finally captured a series of photographs of the sunset as seen from the fourth planet from the sun. And obviously, it is absolutely astonishing. Only not in the ways that you might have thought it would be. Despite the breathtaking landscape, what is truly mind-blowing is the fact that the sunset on Mars is blue.
That’s right! The sunset on the red planet is blue, making it the perfect opposite to Earth’s color span. While our sky is comprised of numerous shades of blue all throughout the day and becomes ravishingly red in the at dusk, on Mars it is exactly the other way around.
Try to imagine this amazing world where the sky is red during the day and that becomes blue at sundown. Actually, thanks to Curiosity, you don’t have to overwork your mind anymore, because the photographs of Mars’ sunset have been made public.
These groundbreaking images were taken by the Mastcam, a device that perceives color comparably to how the human eye does. The photographs were actually in black and white initially, with the color in the form of coded information.
After the data was decoded, it lead to the beautiful postcard-like image of the Grand Crater area from Mars. This will serve as inspiration for the 24 people who will bravely set off on a one-way journey to Mars, where they will form the first human Martian colony.
Mark Lemmon of A&M University and member of the Curiosity team explained in a statement precisely why the sunset on the red planet is blue. And it seems that the answer is dust in the wind, literally.
“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”, he said.
He further explained that when blue light is dispersed from the dust, it remains closer to the course of the sun rather than the light from other colors. This is how he accounts for the breath-taking phenomenon.
He says that the sky is red in other parts of the Martian day, precisely because yellow and red light are dispersed throughout the sky rather than being absorbed.
After almost three years since Curiosity landed on the red planet, the very first image of the sunset on Mars is now available to the general public. And it is a significant scientific achievement, because now people can have a clearer picture of how life is on Mars.
Image Source: onebigphoto
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