NASA Curiosity Captures First Sun Rays on Mars

WASHINGTON: NASA’s Curiosity- which has made Mars it’s home for years now captured a stunning image of the martian sunset, featuring light rays that illuminated a bank of clouds – an iridescent ‘rainbow-like’ cloud display as the sun sets over the horizon.

Even after being on the red planet since 2012, the Curiosity Rover was still not able to capture the magnificent view until Feb 2, as said by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Curiosity captured the view during its newest twilight cloud survey which builds on its 2021 observations of noctilucent, or night-shining clouds. One may think the Sun rises and sets as does on Earth, but such views are very rare on Mars. In fact, it is said to be the first time that such sun rays, called crepuscular rays, were viewed as clearly on the Red Planet.

In the photo that was shared on Twitter, the sun’s rays can be seen spilling out from the Martian horizon. While it’s not quite as clear as a sunset might be on Earth, as Martian sunsets tend to be quite “moody,” the signature rays of a sunset can clearly be perceived.

“Well, this is a first…” the Curiosity Rover’s official Twitter account noted. “As I watched the sunset last month, I captured something spectacular: My team says these are some of the most clearly visible images of sun rays we’ve ever seen on Mars!”

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