25th April 2011 Notes: A Martian Sunset

What would it be like to stand on Mars and watch the sun setting in the distance?

We took a picture taken from Mars 6 years ago and enhanced it to show what you would expect to see.

Our research seems to point to the conclusion that the martian sky is red…… well most of the time… but then it is also blue at other times.

How is this so?

Well the sky over Mars is generally red due to the permanent cloud of dust hanging in the sky from dust storms sweeping across the planet. However, as seen in the picture below left, the sky will take on a blue tinge as a result of the way that sunlight is scattered through the dust .

The picture below right shows a partial eclipse of the Sun as seen from the surface of Mars. No this is not Mercury, Venus or even Earth passing over the Sun….. it is in fact the Martian moon of Phobos partly obscuring the Sun.

Does Mars have total eclipses like we see on Earth? No……. the moons of Mars are just not big enough to completely cover the Sun.

The sky over Mars (Click to enlarge)

Phobos partial eclipse of Sun (Click to enlarge)

~ by sydneystargazers on April 25, 2011.

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