Martian Sunset


Someone once said to me, 'I hate photographs of sunsets' as I showed her a photograph I'd taken of a sunset.

I happen to like them. Almost as much as I like watching them in person. I imagine though that this image is as close as I'll ever get to seeing the sunset on Mars. I found it on the Reciprocity Failure blog. (Gotta love blogging posts from other blogs.)

Here's the info from the NASA website.

On May 19, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. This Panoramic Camera mosaic was taken around 6:07 in the evening of the rover's 489th Martian day, or sol.

Sunset and twilight images are occasionally acquired by the science team to determine how high into the atmosphere the Martian dust extends, and to look for dust or ice clouds. Other images have shown that the twilight glow remains visible, but increasingly fainter, for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset. The long Martian twilight (compared to Earth's) is caused by sunlight scattered around to the night side of the planet by abundant high altitude dust. Similar long twilights or extra-colorful sunrises and sunsets sometimes occur on Earth when tiny dust grains that are erupted from powerful volcanoes scatter light high in the atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell

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