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NASA shares what sunset over Mars looks like

Ali Condon

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| Last updated 

NASA shares what sunset over Mars looks like

Featured Image Credit: NASA/JPL-caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M University

Is there anything more beautiful than a sunset here on planet Earth?

All those splashes of reds, oranges, and yellows dancing in the sky, warming up everything the light touches. It's just magical.

But did you know that sunsets on other planets in our solar system look totally different?

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For example, NASA's Curiosity rover has just shown us all what a sunset on Mars looks like - and while it definitely isn't as warm-looking, it sure is spectacular.

While we've seen sunsets on Mars before, like the footage above which was captured by Curiosity in 2015.

But NASA explained that this is the first time the sun's rays have been so clearly observed on the red planet.

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NASA's Curiosity rover has captured a sunset on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SSI.
NASA's Curiosity rover has captured a sunset on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SSI.

The image, taken on 2 February, captured the moment the sun descended over the horizon and rays of light highlighted a blanket of clouds to create a sort of moody array of colours.

Curiosity took the photo as part of its twilight cloud survey that's been ongoing since 2021.

As part of the survey, NASA has been taking pics of nontilucent, or night-shining, clouds to get a better understanding of Mars' atmosphere.

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Sharing a photo of the sunset to Twitter, the Mars Curiosity Rover tweeted from all the way up in space: "Well, this is a first...

"As I watched the sunset last month, I captured something spectacular: My team says these are some of the most clearly visible images of sun rays we've ever seen on Mars!|

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

And once you get over the adorable Disney image of a lonely robot admiring a beautiful sunset all the way up in Mars, you can really take in how cool that photo actually is.

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As well as the bright sun rays, Curiosity also managed to capture the colourful clouds shaped like a feather on 27 January.

According to NASA, when illuminated by the sunlight, certain types of clouds can create a rainbow-like display called iridescence.

Both photos taken by Curiosity were shot in panoramic view, producing 28 separate images that were then sent back to Earth for NASA to put together.

Curiosity also managed to capture the colourful clouds shaped like a feather. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SSI.
Curiosity also managed to capture the colourful clouds shaped like a feather. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SSI.
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Space fanatics were pretty blown away by this new view of Mars, and took to Twitter to rave about Curiosity's magnificent photos.

"Incredible! It's hard to believe that we're seeing such clear images of sun rays on another planet," wrote one user.

"So breathtakingly beautiful, thank you and your team for giving us this wonderful photo. Imagine the day when humans can see this first hand," posted a second.

While others had more pressing matters on their mind.

Tagging Elon Musk - who plans to bring human life to Mars with his company SpaceX - one Twitter user asked him: "You sure about this lol it looks gloomy AF over there."

Of course, that's definitely not one of the top concerns when it comes to life on Mars.

Topics: News, Space, NASA, Science

Ali Condon
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