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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Two Worlds, Different Sunsets

Two Worlds, Different Sunsets


Sunset, Gustav Crater Mars (credit: JPL-Caltech/Texas A&M/Cornell)


How would the sunset appear on both Mars and Earth? That's the curiosity question asked by the scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech. The comparison imagery is dramatic.  Dundowns on Mars are bluish.

Besides the Sun's size difference seen from Earth and Mars, the Red Planet is 50 million miles further away and the sunsets produce different colors. The color difference is caused by its thinner atmosphere and finely suspended dust particles that affect sunlight refraction differently. Comparison images of sunsets from both planets are dramatic. 

Accoriding to NASA: The blue colors come from the fact that the fine dust is the right size so that blue light penetrates the atmosphere slightly more efficiently.When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the Sun than sunlight of other colors does.


            Earth sunset comparison, Queensland Australia (credit: SWP Media, Inc.)


       Sinking Sun animation at Gale Crater (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M)

Sunset's are always beautiful but it would be cool to watch a blue one some day. WHB

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