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Demain, des colonies sur Mars..., par Roland Lehoucq. What Makes Mars Sunsets Different from Earth’s? Sunset photographed from Gale Crater by the Mars Curiosity rover on April 15, 2015.

What Makes Mars Sunsets Different from Earth’s?

The four images shown in sequence here were taken over a span of 6 minutes, 51 seconds using the left eye of the rover’s Mastcam. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Even robots can’t tear their eyes from a beautiful sunset. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover pointed its high resolution mast camera at the setting Sun to capture this 4-image sequence on April 15 at the conclusion of the mission’s 956th Martian day. While it resembles an earthly sunset, closer inspection reveals alien oddities. A day on Mars lasts 24 hours and 39 minutes, so sunrise and sunset follow nearly the same rhythm as they do on Earth. But sunsets and sunrises offer a different palette of colors than they would on Earth.

Not only that, but the solar disk shrinks from the familiar 0.5° across we see from Earth to 0.35° at Mars. Wide view of sunset over Gusev Crater taken by NASA’s Spirit Rover in 2005. What about color? Sunrise of Lake Superior.

Curiosity

Mars in a minute. Photos. Enjoy Space : L’habitabilité passée de Mars confirmée. S’appuyant sur les résultats du rover Curiosity, quatre publications scientifiques parues dans la prestigieuse revue Science confirment que la planète rouge a bien présenté par le passé un environnement favorable à l’émergence du vivant.

Enjoy Space : L’habitabilité passée de Mars confirmée

Le rover Curiosity a observé des roches sédimentaires formées par la lente accumulation de particules dont la finesse, entre autres arguments, indique qu'elles se sont jadis déposées au fond d'un lac qui occupait une partie du cratère Gale. Cet environnement aurait pu convenir à une éventuelle vie primitive présente à la surface. De plus, les éléments essentiels constituant les organismes vivants tels le carbone, l'hydrogène, l'oxygène, le soufre, l'azote et le phosphore ont également été détectés dans ces mêmes sédiments par Curiosity. Ces conditions favorables pourraient avoir perduré de quelques centaines à quelques dizaines de milliers d'années. Enjoy Space : Mars a été habitable. Le résultat de l’analyse d’une roche percée par le rover Curiosity de la NASA confirme que la planète rouge a autrefois présenté des conditions permettant l’apparition de la vie, probablement simple comme des microbes.

Enjoy Space : Mars a été habitable

À peine un peu plus de 7 mois après sa triomphale arrivée sur Mars (voir cet article), Curiosity vient déjà de remplir un de ses objectifs majeurs, si ce n’est l’objectif majeur de sa mission. En effet, rappelons-nous que la NASA avait bien précisé que son rover ne cherchait pas la vie ni même une trace de vie passée sur la planète rouge, mais les conditions d’habitabilité. Video: Phobos Passing Overhead. Curiosity Captures ‘Phobos Rising’ Movie and Sun Setting on Mars. Want to stay on top of all the space news?

Curiosity Captures ‘Phobos Rising’ Movie and Sun Setting on Mars

Follow @universetoday on Twitter Mars moon Phobos (above, center) rising in the night time Martian sky shortly after sunset in this still image from a movie taken by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 317, June 28, 2013. The apparent ring is an imaging artifact. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech See the complete ‘Phobos Rising’ movie below Every once in a while when the time is just right and no one is looking, Curiosity’s Earthly handlers allow her some night time Martian delights.

In this case a pair of rising and setting celestial events bookend another magnificent week in humankinds exploration of the Red Planet – courtesy of NASA. Mars Curiosity a gleam of light in a lonely landscape. Curiousity is the gleaming dot at lower right.

Mars Curiosity a gleam of light in a lonely landscape

Its tracks are visible extending from the landing site, “Bradbury Landing,” at upper left. Two bright bluish spots surrounded by darker patches are where the spacecraft’s landing jets cleared away reddish surface dust at the landing site.The rover’s wheel tracks are about 10 feet (3-meters) apart. Click to supersize. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona Gaze at the night sky or take in a view from a mountaintop and you’ll be afforded a perspective that hints at our significance in the broader universe.

On-the-ground view of layered rocks at the Shaler site. MRO shot the photo on June 27 when the rover was examining an outcrop called “Shaler”, where stacked layers of rock reminded Mars researchers of layered shales here on Earth. Comparison of Mount Sharp with several familiar mountains on Earth. Mt. Soon, mission controllers will place the rover in ”autonav” mode so it can navigate a path for itself, hands free as it were. Two Moons Passing in the Martian Night. Abe Lincoln has Mars dust in his beard. After 14 months on Mars, Curiosity 1909 Lincoln cent is covered in a fine patina Martian dust and bits of soil.

Abe Lincoln has Mars dust in his beard

Photo taken on Oct. 2, 2013. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA/ JPL-Caltech When the Curiosity rover landed on Mars more than a year ago it brought with it an earthly artifact more than a century old – a 1909 Lincoln penny. For good luck? The calibration target used by MAHLI to correct color casts in photos. For MAHLI’s closeup pictures to accurately portray colors and brightness of the Martian landscape it needs a reference.

Video: Dry Ice Moves on Mars. The Moons of Mars Explained.