Everyone loves a good sunset. But the orange and red sunsets here on Earth are a consequence of our atmosphere. Other heavenly bodies, like Mars or Uranus, experience vastly different sunsets with unexpected colors. Now, thanks to a NASA simulation, you can enjoy a glimpse of the strange sunsets on alien worlds.
Geronimo Villanueva, one of NASA’s planetary scientists, took a break from modeling Uranus to cook up a series of alien sunset simulations. The simulations could help scientists land probes on Uranus, Venus, or Jupiter’s moon Titan—an icy rock that may support life.
Oh, the simulations also look pretty cool. They show an all-sky view, with a whitish circle that represents the sun. On some planets, like Uranus, the sky fads to a deep blue with hints of green or turquoise. On others, like Mars, the light fades from a brownish color to a blue, as the Martian dust clouds scatter blue light better than other colors.
NASA’s simulations are simple, but they give you a good idea of how life might feel on distant planets. (I mean, if you were somehow invincible.) Hopefully, we get some real photo or video of distant sunsets eventually. We do have some photos of Martian sunsets, and they’re impressive.