The Curiosity rover captured this Martian sunset on April 15, 2015 in colors very similar to what the human eye would see. It’s not the only colors of Martian sunsets, but the eerie blue is certainly otherworldly. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M Univ.

What Sunrises & Sunsets on Mars Look Like

Robert Roy Britt
May 1 · 4 min read
The sunset on Mars April 25, 2019 seen by InSight. This image was color-corrected to show what it would’ve looked like to the human eye. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Here is the same April 25 sunset, without color-correction. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
And here is a color-corrected sunrise on Mars on April 24, 2019, as seen by InSight’s Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) on the spacecraft’s robotic arm.
Here’s some Martian clouds drifting by during the April 25, 2019 sunset. The series of images, color-corrected to show what you’d likely see if you were there, were taken by a camera beneath InSight‘s deck. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s Pathfinder mission gave us this view of a Martian sunset in 1997. Image: NASA/JPL
The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit rover shot this Martian sunset on May 19, 2005. “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,” NASA said. “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: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell
About 15 minutes before sunset on Aug. 21, 1976, the Viking Lander 1 captured this view. “The diffuse shadows are due to the sunlight that has been scattered by the dusty Martian atmosphere as a result of the long path length from the setting sun,” NASA explained. Image: NASA/JPL
Viking 2 Lander photographed sunrise on June 14, 1978. The glow was caused by light from the sun being scattered and preferentially absorbed by tiny particles of dust and ice in the atmosphere, NASA explained. The color banding effects are artifacts introduced by the limitations of camera. Image: NASA/JPL

Predict

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Robert Roy Britt

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Explainer of things, former editor-in-chief of Live Science and Space .com, author of the science thriller “5 Days to Landfall.”

Predict

Predict

where the future is written