March 29, 2023

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For the first time, the dazzling rays of the sun have been clearly seen from Mars

Close-up of sunlight seen by Curiosity. Image: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS.

NASA’s Curiosity rover recently captured a stunning image of dazzling “sunlight” brightness Through unusually high clouds during sunset on Mars.

It is the first time that the sun’s rays are clearly visible on the red planet. Curiosity captured the new image on February 2 as part of a series of surveys of the aurora cloud that have been underway since January and will end in mid-March. The image, a panorama of 28 individual images, was shared by Curiosity’s Twitter page on March 6.

“This was the first time that sunlight was observed so clearly on Mars,” team members from NASA’s JPL Laboratory wrote.

Sunrays, also known as harmless rays, appear when sunlight shines through gaps in the clouds at sunset or sunrise when the sun is below the horizon. The rays are most visible on Earth in hazy conditions, when the light is scattered by smoke, dust and other particles in the atmosphere, according to the UK Met Office (Opens in a new tab). Although the dazzling rays appear to converge at a point beyond the cloud, in reality they run roughly parallel to each other.

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