Curiosity, NASA’s little (1 ton) rover that could, has sent back stunning images of a blue tinged sunset on Mars.
The images were captured on April 14 between dust storms, offering up the first sunset on Mars to be viewed in color, according to NASA officials.
“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,” Curiosity science team member Mark Lemmon, of Texas A&M University, 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,” Lemmon added. “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.”
Scientists are using the images to try and better understand how dust is distributed throughout the Martian atmosphere.
Curiosity has been on Mars since April 2012, on its mission to determine whether the enigmatic red planet could have ever supported life.
Check out the article here at LiveScience.
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)