The Out Of The Ordinary Sunset On Mars!

The beauty of sunsets can blind anyone’s eyes and soul with soothing relief and can elevate one’s mood. Even robots can’t tear their eyes from this beautiful sunset. What makes this enchanting sunset more beautiful is that fiery orange ball that exhibits silence and calmness.

“Sunset is still my favorite color, and the rainbow is second.”

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You will be baffled to know that Mars does not have an orange-yellow sunset but a blue sunset. Yes! you heard it right – the red planet has a blue sunset.

via – i.ytimg.com

The Mars expedition has had a sudden oomph in the last few years. Recently, Elon Musk sent a car into Mars orbit and earlier ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission the cheapest of all time-space mission has caught many eyes towards Mars.

A day on Mars lasts for 24 hours and 39 minutes, so sunrise and sunset follow nearly the same rhythm as of Earth. Then why is the color of sunset and sunrise different from that of the Earth?

The reason behind the blue sunset on Mars

The first reason behind this phenomenon, which may be helpful for starters, is that the average distance of Mars from the sun is 141.6 million miles, or about half of Earth’s size. The higher the distance, the lesser is the intensity of sunlight.

Another reason is that the Earth has a thick atmosphere. During sunrise and sunset, the sun is low in the sky. The light has to travel a long path through the atmosphere to reach the Earth. Most of the blue photons are scattered away due to less wavelength so only red reaches the Earth. So the sunset on Earth appears red was explained by the Rayleigh Scattering Principle.

via – 78.media.tumblr.com

But contrary to that of Earth, Mars has a thin, dry, and dusty atmosphere. The phenomenon that occurs here is Mie Scattering which is vice versa to Rayleigh’s Scattering Principle. Dust particles on Mars are thicker than the air molecules on the Earth. Mie Scattering explains that the larger size of the molecule scatters the high wavelength photons. That explicates the reason behind the blue sunset on Mars.

Mie Scattering occurs on the Earth but it is not strong enough as Rayleigh’s Scattering so Earth cannot have a blue moon. So it can be said that the sunset phenomenon is different on Mars from that of the Earth because of its unique quality of atmosphere.

If life could ever be found on Mars and you could take out some time from your busy schedule then the blue sunset and pink sky on the red planet will be a treat to watch.

Aishwarya Nuwal

I am Aishwarya Nuwal, currently pursuing Engineering. I am an avid foodie and a sleepyhead. I am currently learning the art to play with words.

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