Martian sunset. Mars exploration rover Spirit image of the western sky from Gusev Crater at sunset. There is a bluish glow in the sky around and above the Sun. Such glows can remain visible for up to 2 hours after sunset or before sunrise. The glow is caused by high altitude dust scattering sunlight around to the night side of the planet. The rest of the sky is reddish due to the large amount of dust in the atmosphere. Such images aid understanding of the Martian atmosphere. Spirit and its sister rover Opportunity were launched in the summer of 2003. Spirit landed on Mars on 3 January 2004. Its mission is to analyse soil and rocks and search for water. Image taken on Spirit's 489th Martian day, 19 May 2005.
September 13th, 2018
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