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Emily LakdawallaMay 24, 2015

Real-time sunset on Mars

Pause your life for six minutes and watch the Sun set....on Mars. Thank you, Glen Nagle, for this awe-inspiring simulation based on Curiosity's sol 956 sunset images.

On its 956th sol (day) on Mars, the rover Curiosity used its Mastcam to image a stunning sequence of the Sun (Sol) setting over the local horizon at Gale Crater, where it has been exploring since August 2012. The individual images taken by Curiosity covered a period of about 6 minutes. The sequence of images was too intermittent to make smooth movie of the sunset on its own. Using the foreground and horizon from one image and then recreating the sky and Sun in Photoshop, Glen Nagle used Adobe Premier to create a near real-time sunset sequence as if you could stand on Mars and see it for yourself. With the addition of a little 'lens flare' and the haunting music 'Lux Aeterna' by György Ligeti, this imagining of a sunset on Mars evokes a sense of awe and reverence.

NASA / JPL / MSSS / Glen Nagle

Read more: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, the Sun, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), animation

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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