NASA image shows a striking Martian sunset

NASA Image Shows A Striking Martian Sunset
NASA Image Shows A Striking Martian Sunset

An old image of a Martian sunset has been making the rounds recently.

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Captured on May 19, 2005, by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, the striking panoramic view shows the sun as it dips underneath the Gusev Crater.

The image is actually a mosaic of photographs taken sometime shortly after 6:00 p.m. during Spirit's 489th Martian day spent roving the Red Planet's surface.

Aside from the obvious location difference, the Martian sunset distinguishes itself from our own.

On Earth, the sun appears more red due to the scattering of blue light as it passes through our atmosphere.

To explain the differences, NASA notes, "Dust in the Martian atmosphere has fine particles that permit blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than longer-wavelength colors. That causes the blue colors in the mixed light coming from the sun to stay closer to sun's part of the sky, compared to the wider scattering of yellow and red colors."

See images of Mars' moons:

Originally published