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there we see blue sunsets and red days

We haven't played Mars yet, but the different riders we've been able to send us have allowed us to imagine a bit of everyday life. Not so much Matt Damon "Marsi", but like seeing dust storms, craters, ice or even Sunsets on Mars.

Of course, when we were able to see the images NASA gave us and came to us through the networks, they always pointed out blue sunset, especially the cold tones we know as Red Planet. Although these were interpretations and later procedures, everything can be explained, so let's see why we have reddish sunsets on the Blue Planet and they are blue on the Red Planet.

Almost 15 years after the sunset disappeared between the Mars mountains

In 2015, we saw thanks to the camera Mastcam100 from the curious rover of this Mars sunset, one of the mountains that make up the Gale craters. Three years after putting his wheels on Mars, he sent us his first sunset on Mars, April 15, when we talk about it.

Although it was not the first time that Mars own vehicle gave us these views. On April 23, 2005, the Spirit rider hunted the Sun's image by placing himself in the Mars sky, especially in the Gusev Crater. An image that also provided information about Mars chair by learning it on Mars sunset is longer than on Earth (about two hours).

As we have already commented on photos of curiosity, the images taken by these cameras come in black and white to NASA computers and later they are processed and dyed. And what we saw in most cases is that the shared photos were cold blue and gray, very different from the orange and reddish atmosphere we have used so far to visualize our neighboring planet.

In fact, astrophysics Brian Koberlein just compared these two pictures: land and Marsi, and also explained why we might see these melodies on Mars. The main thing: light dispersion in the atmosphere of every planet.

Two worlds, two dispersions and one sun

The Earth's atmosphere is relatively dense and a known type of dispersion is known Rayleigh scatteringcorresponding to visible light or any other electromagnetic radiation produced by particles of a very small size than the wavelength of the scatter photons. This is what makes the sky blue, and that blue (shorter) wavelengths tend to dissipate much more than the red's main orange orange tones.

The longer it travels, the more blue photons are scattered and the less we perceive what happens when the Sun starts to appear or leave on Earth

When the sun is already under the rays of light, they have a longer way to travel through the atmosphere. During this road, photons are dispersed by atmospheric molecules, but this happens randomly and in all directions, and as blue dissipates much more than red, most blue lights are dispersed, leaving red that our retina perceives. This means: the greater the distance, the more blue photons will spread and the less we perceive what happens when the Sun begins to appear or leave the Earth.

Mars is much less concentrated atmospherehence, Rayleigh scattering takes place to a much lesser extent. But it also affects the fact that the weight is much lower and its surface is much drier and dustier.

Thus, its atmosphere is usually invaded by fine and many dust particles that are closer to the wavelength of visible light. Thus, the game is played Mie dispersion, which is not a coincidence, like Rayleigh, and what causes it is that the long wavelengths (red) spread more evenly, but the short (blue) makes it smaller. That means blue dominates over red.

Mars Opportunity Ledge. (Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

Mie dispersion it is not something unfamiliar to Earthas it also happens here (it is "guilty" of the darkest dawn). But it happens less efficiently than Rayleigh, so it's not strong enough for blue sunsets (although it refers to the blue moon).

In addition, the meteorologist explained Mario Picazo that light is less intensity on Mars to be further away from the Sun, and that the Red Planet's solar disc is reduced to 0.35 degrees (while the Earth's planet is 0.5 degrees). And as Mark Lemmon from Texas A&M University and a member of the curiosity science team, during the day, the Mars sky is orange, as sunlight highlights dust rust.

Will we see more sunsets from other planets? It's hard to think about it in terms of its distance and circumstances (like Jupiter's chaos), but who knows if we can see another world sky as we've seen in Marsi.

Picture | NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Texas A & M Univ.

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