NASA Simulation Sunsets Other Worlds
Planetary scientist Geronimo Villanueva from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, created various sunset simulations on other worlds while building a computer modeling tool for a possible future mission to Uranus. To confirm the accuracy of his tool, he simulated the known sky colors of Uranus and other worlds. These animations show the Sun appearing to set from the perspective of someone actually standing or floating on these worlds. Read more for two videos and additional information.

As these celestial bodies rotate away from the light of the Sun, which is what happens during a sunset, photons are scattered in multiple directions depending on their energy and the types of molecules in the atmospheres. So, the result is a brilliant palette of colors that would be visible to those standing or floating on these worlds.

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The animations show all-sky views as if you were looking up at the sky through a super wide camera lens from Earth, Venus, Mars, Uranus, and Titan. The white dot represents the location of the Sun. The halo of light seen towards the end of the sunset on hazy Earth is produced because of the way light is scattered by particles, including dust or fog, that are suspended in the clouds. The same is true of the Martian halo. Also on Mars, the sunset turns from a brownish color to a blueish because the Martian dust particles scatter the blue color more effectively,” according to NASA.



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