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NASA's Insight lands ghostly, hazy Mars sunset




NASA / JPL-Caltech
                                                

Watching the sunset over a fast, blue ocean is one of the most peaceful pleasures in life.

But watching the sunset over a fixed, red, endless desert might be just as good. Especially when that desert is over 150 million miles away .

Thanks to NASA's InSight lander, which has planted itself in Mars flat, smooth plain Elysium Planitia, you can do just that. The image above was snapped at NASA's most recent Mars transplant on March 1

0, the robot's 101st day at work on the Martian surface. Stitching a sequence of images by the lander's Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) shows the splendorous sun setting over the Red Planet and disappearing beyond the horizon.

It's not the first time we've seen the sun set on another planet, though. Thanks to the efforts of the Martian robbers including recently-departed Opportunity Curiosity watched this hazy, blue end-of-day back in 2015 . And even than that, Spirit watched the sun set over Gusev Crater all the way back in 2005.

Sunsets on Mars are often stuffed with pale blue thanks to the heavy dust in the Martian atmosphere. Mars also has an extra-long twilight period, compared to the Earth, because of the way that dust scatters light. You can see that unchanging twilight as you flick through the raw images from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

InSight is basically a stationary, interplanetary laboratory stationed on Mars to "check its temperature" . It is kitted out with a number of instruments that will be able to detect Marsquakes, see how warm the interior is of the planet – and of course – just take a ton of awe-inspiring photos, too. sunset is undoubtedly a wondrous, impressive vision, but now I'm getting all choked up thinking about it all the way out there, watching the dip behind the horizon alone.


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