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 human beings have not (yet) set foot, crystallizes a number of questions. Not necessarily the most emitted, the question of sunsets on Mars has, however, given rise to an answer that it would be a shame to overlook. It was shared on the site of The NASA over seven years ago now.
Sunsets on Mars: not red, not orange
It was thanks to NASA’s Curiosity rover that on April 15, 2015, images of a Martian sunset were captured. And they didn’t paint a show that was mostly red or orange. These colors even seemed totally absent from the visual report thus made, and for precision, the rover recorded there its first sunset in color.
The bluish tint explained
The sunset, recorded in Gale Crater between two dust storms, was actually blue. In a other article of the site, Mark Lemmon, of the Curiosity team, explains the phenomenon: “The colors come from the fact that the very fine dust is the right size for blue light to penetrate the atmosphere slightly more efficiently”.
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 scatters throughout the sky instead of being absorbed or staying close to the sun.”