InSight photographed the Martian dawn

“I am never tired of watching the sunrise on Mars.” Such a message was left on the Insight mission Twitter account by one of the NASA employees. It was illustrated by the corresponding animation made by the device on April 10, where you can see the Sun rising above the horizon of the Red Planet.

The colors of Martian dawns and sunsets do not correspond to those that we are used to seeing on Earth. When the Sun is low above the horizon, the sky in this direction takes on a bluish hue. This optical effect is associated with dust particles in the atmosphere of Mars. Before sunset or just after dawn, the sun’s rays overcome a much thicker atmospheric layer than in the afternoon. The scattering of light on small dust particles (larger ones cannot remain suspended for a long time in a rarefied atmosphere) creates a characteristic blue halo around the Sun.

As for the visible dimensions, when observed from Mars, the diameter of the solar disk is on average 62.5% of its size in the terrestrial sky. The red planet receives 2.5 times less sunlight than the Earth.

Recall that the InSight apparatus is experiencing significant difficulties associated with dust accumulated on the surface of its solar panels. Because of it, the probe began to receive much less energy than before. According to the latest forecasts of NASA engineers, if something like a tornado does not pass through InSight, which will clean its batteries, the apparatus will freeze by the end of 2022.

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