Mars Rover Shows Blue Sunset on the Red Planet

Curiosity Rover's MastCam shows majestic sight.

ByALYSSA NEWCOMB
May 11, 2015, 9:50 AM
PHOTO: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover recorded this image of the sun setting at the close of the mission's 956th Martian day, or sol, April 15, 2015, from the rover's location in Gale Crater.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover recorded this image of the sun setting at the close of the mission's 956th Martian day, or sol, April 15, 2015, from the rover's location in Gale Crater.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

— -- Sunset on Mars looks drastically different than the warm colors seen on Earth.

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover sent back a stunning image of a deep blue sunset on the Red Planet as it faded into the Martian horizon.

"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," Mark Lemmon, a member of Curiosity's science team, said in a statement.

"When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the sun than light of other colors does," he said. "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."

Curiosity got to work on Mars in August 2012, where it has been studying the planet's terrain and environments, sending back information to Earth after each Martian day lasting 24 hours, 39 minutes.

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