Friday, May 10, 2019

Courtesy of NASA/JPL

InSight Captures Stunning Martian Sunrise

Sol 145, or on the Earth calendar, April 24th, the NASA InSight Lander caught this striking image of a Martian sunrise! Taken around 5:30am local Martian time, this image is available as both “raw” and color-corrected. While you can see more detain in the raw version, the color-corrected more accurately shows how the human eye would see this stunning view.
Because Mars is farther away than the Earth is, the Sun only appears about two-thirds the size in the Martian sky compared to how we see it from home.

But this is not the first time InSight has captured this event. Its camera took practice shots of sunrise and sunset on March 2nd and 10th. And InSight is not the first lander to take such photos, either.

“It’s been a tradition for Mars missions to capture sunrises and sunsets,” says Justin Maki, InSight Science Team Co-Investigator and Imaging Lead at JPL. “With many of our primary imaging tasks complete, we decided to capture the sunrise and sunset as seen from another world.”

And indeed, the first mission to send back such images was Viking 1 on August 21, 1976. Then Viking 2 captured a sunrise on June 14, 1978. Since then, SpiritOpportunityand Curiosity have all captured pictures and video of both the sunrise and sunset on Mars.

Given the number of European partners involved in support and instrumentation for the InSight Lander, we can expect to see much more exciting science to come!

If you want to learn more about the InSight mission and those involved, you can do so by visiting their website.


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