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Damia Bouic

Sunset on Mars

Posted By Damia Bouic

06-05-2015 14:07 CDT

Topics: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

A version of this post originally appeared on Damia Bouic's blog. It has been edited and reposted here with her permission.


Long before Curiosity's landing, the description of the color camera made ​​me dream: I imagined what wonderful pictures we could get of sunsets and sunrises on Mars. They finally came on sol 956, the 15th of April, 2015. Three years. We had to wait three years before the team who is responsible for the mission dared at last to point the powerful MastCam toward a sunset. And I have to say, theses pictures are gorgeous!

These pictures came back to Earth in black and white, with a Bayer matrix. [Read this blog post for an explainer on Mastcam's Bayer-filter images. -Ed.] I had to process them through GIMP with GMIC in order to rebuild the colors. A little processing in Pixelmator to remove these ugly white stripes due to overloaded pixels; a little bit of denoising to remove artifacts of the Bayer matrix, and voila!

Here are the pictures, all in PNG format. The last two frames were taken by the higher-zoom Mastcam-100.

Sunset on Mars

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Sunset on Mars
The 34mm eye of the Mastcam aboard Curiosity took this view of the sun setting over Gale Crater on sol 956 of the mission (April 15, 2015).
Sunset on Mars, Curiosity sol 956

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Sunset on Mars, Curiosity sol 956
Sunset on Mars, Curiosity sol 956

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Sunset on Mars, Curiosity sol 956
Sunset on Mars, Curiosity sol 956

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Sunset on Mars, Curiosity sol 956
Telephoto view of sunset on Mars

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Telephoto view of sunset on Mars
Curiosity's 100mm Mastcam camera captured this view of the sun setting over Gale Crater on sol 956 of the mission (April 15, 2015).
Sunset over Gale Crater

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Sunset over Gale Crater
Curiosity's 100mm Mastcam camera captured this view of the sun setting over Gale Crater on sol 956 of the mission (April 15, 2015).
Comparison of midsol vs sunset sky horizon colors, sol 956

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic

Comparison of midsol vs sunset sky horizon colors, sol 956
 
See other posts from May 2015

 

Read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

Comments:

Mewo: 05/07/2015 02:17 CDT

Oooooooo! Wonderful pictures, thank you! The daytime sky is red and sunsets are blue, which is the opposite of what we get here on Earth. That seems remarkable, but actually it's just what you'd expect red dust in the atmosphere to do.

Tony Fisk: 05/07/2015 05:08 CDT

Magnificent pictures, although the last brings that recent gold/white/blue/black dress controversy to mind

sepiae: 05/07/2015 08:46 CDT

These images kill me! The oddest kind of homesickness - farsickness. Thanks for posting these.

Tony Mach: 05/08/2015 06:53 CDT

I might be wrong, but to me it appears that the red channel and the green channel are overexposed (with these channels becoming saturated). I'm afraid that this not actually the true color of the sunset on Mars. Cf. images taken on Earth, where the sky takes an slight green-ish tint when overexposed.

Paul: 05/10/2015 03:46 CDT

A distant sunset from another world far far away...somewhat looks like the sunset scene from the first Star Wars movie...only this is the real thing. Fantastic!

Erik: 05/11/2015 02:00 CDT

It would be great to have a video of a sunrise or sunset. But that maybe too big an ask?

RickH: 05/13/2015 10:21 CDT

The pic speaks to me of things past, lost life, its creation, advancement & disappearance the fading away of potential intelligence & the unique advancements no longer possible. A truly haunting picture.

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