Fiery pink and peach sunsets are a unique advantage of our home on Earth. But what colors appear when the sun sets on other planets of the solar system?
The answer depends on the planet. On Mars, the sun comes and goes with a blue glow. According to NASA astrophysicists, on Uranus, the sunset sky is moving from blue to turquoise. And on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, the sky turns yellow, orange and brown when the sun goes down over the horizon.
According to Kurt Ehler, a professor of mathematics at Truckee Community College in Reno, Nevada, the colors of the sunset are patchy, as these shades are largely a product of every planet’s atmosphere and how the particles in it scatter sunlight.
Ehler says that any planet whose atmosphere is dominated by gas will follow one pattern of longer colors, which are becoming more dominant at sunset. For example, in Uranus, gaseous particles of hydrogen, helium and methane in the atmosphere scatter blue and green short waves, absorbing longer red ones. This creates a bright blue sky, which at sunset becomes turquoise. If in the atmosphere of the planet something other than gases prevails, the sunset will be different – therefore, on Mars, you can see a blue sunset.