Exploratour - The Atmosphere of Mars

This is an image showing a Martian sunset.
Click on image for full size

A Look at the Martian Sky

The sky of Earth is blue. But, as shown in this image, on Mars, the sky is darker with a slightly pink overtone. This is very different from the Earth!

The light in the atmosphere comes from the Sun, but to reach the ground it has to pass through the molecules of the air, sort of like a football player running through the opposing players. Molecules of air are almost the same size as light waves. When the light waves go through the air, they hit molecules. When they hit molecules, they get deflected in all directions; forward, sideways, and backwards.

Sunlight appears to have no color at all, but it is actually a mixture of all of the colors of the rainbow. Air molecules deflect some colors of light better than others. Blue light is deflected the most and red light is deflected the least. Since the blue rays of lights are deflected the most, they reach our eyes from all directions and we see more blue than any other color. On Earth, this means that the sky looks blue.

On Mars, the thin atmosphere means that light passes through without being deflected as much, so the sky is darker than on Earth. Also, the atmosphere of Mars contains a lot of dust. The many rust-colored dust particles in the atmosphere contribute to the pink color of the sky.

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