NASA images reveal one of the most interesting findings that have been brought forward to date with regards to Mars. The photos reveal what a sunset looks like on the Red Planet, and while many might be led to believe that the sunset would look red, or have a red tint – the opposite is true. The sunset, as the photos depict, is blue in color – due to the atmospheric qualities that doesn’t allow the sun to be seen in the same way as it is here on Earth.
One thing scientists have always known is that color is an incredibly subjective thing, and depending on the scientific structure of the atmosphere you find yourself inside – the colors you see will largely be a reflection of that atmosphere, rather than the colors actually being depicted. The Curiosity Rover showed off some of the most impressive photos that NASA had ever acquired and reveal the blue sunset that can be seen on the Red Planet every evening – as night falls. Curiosity’s Mastcam was the high-resolution camera that caught the images, and even as the photograph itself gives scientists little to evaluate – the sheer scope of the photos are what is so impressive.
NASA pointed out that the photos were taken between dust storms, and that ultimately this is the reason the images are hazy as they clear are. However, it’s the hazy images that add to the beauty of the photographs. While they will obviously hold scientific value as time goes on, and more research is conducted, the sheer beauty of the images cannot be overlooked. Mark Lemmon of the Curiosity team pointed out, “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 went on to point out that, “When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the sun than the light of other colors does. The rest of the sky is yellow to orange, as yellow and red light scatter all over the sky instead of being absorbed or staying close to the sun.” Ultimately, this is how these images and the colors that are seen come to be, and that’s what gives scientists the unique vision. This isn’t something that is seen or viewed every day.
NASA pointed out in a statement that the color differential that causes the blue hue is more pronounced near sunset. That’s why the photos were so intriguing. The statement said in part, “The effect is most pronounced near sunset when light from the sun passes through a longer path in the atmosphere than it does at mid-day.” This clearly sets scientists as a whole, on the road to taking their understanding of Mars to the next level in the very near future.