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Beautiful Sunset On Mars: Sun Sinks Low Eerily Turning The Dusty Red Martian Sky Blue [New Version]

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Published on Apr 22, 2012

Wind howls. Sun sets behind haze over the ramparts of Gusev Crater. Colour movie from little18kb b&w jpegs! You might also like: Mars Rover: 6 Months Travel http://youtu.be/I0xUEyMIvBI

I've tried to make it feel like you are there yourself, while at the same time make the movie as real/accurate as possible. Thanks NASA, JPL & the MER Spirit Rover team for photos for this space mission video.The little 12kb black & white pictures were taken by Spirit Rover in August 2009. Full screen & headphones best! I added the wind sound to best fit what it might sound like on Mars. See below for link to Southampton Uni for a short simulation of what Martian wind would most likely sound like. I've learned a lot since doing the old version of this, so I hope this new version is both more dramatic and technically better.

Since my source materials for the movie were fuzzy little 12kb b&w pics from the rover it was a great challenge to make a movie using them... I had to simulate as accurately as possible the sky turning from butterscotch to blue as the sun sank into the haze well above the real horizon.

*Go to Hobby Space for Southampton Uni's simulations of how things most likely sound on other planets. My aim - an artistic interpretation based on scientific facts to bring the sunset to life in a way that leaves the viewer with a sense of awe and respect.

Both Spirit and OpportunityGreat job by the Curiosity NASA & JPL team with the landing (Mars Science Lander - MSL) in Gale Crater. Curiosity will be taking lots of new images and new photos. Amazing colour panoramas to come. Curiosity takes us another step towards answering - Is there life on the Red Planet?

Sunset On Mars Spirit Rover Acknowledgments NASA + Sound Click: Original work by me gratefully using the following creative commons licence or NASA public licence materials: -
http://nasa.gov/home/
http://www.freesound.org/

Anyway the photos still make a great video. Great sunset. Dust storm. Spirit Rover was "dust storm" checking! Lack of sunshine is death for a solar powered rover! Curiosity Rover launch [Mars Science Laboratory] is coming soon. Opportunity Rover has amazing "survival skills" or I should say it's the smart team headed by Steve Squyres at NASA / JPL. Mars Rovers a great value planetary mission. Hopefully, Opportunity will overlap Curiosity mission as Curiosity landing on Mars is only about 7 months away.

Old Notes: How exciting to see a sunset on another world the day after it has happened! The pics that make up this movie were taken by Spirit, one of the two NASA Mars Rovers, on the evening of 21st August 2009 from near a place called Home Plate in Gusev Crater. Real time frame for the start to end of the video is about 18 minutes. Spirit has been spending the last 5 years or so of its '90 day' (great value for money!!!) mission travelling around this crater.

To find Gusev go to Google Earth and click on the ringed planet (looks like Saturn) next to the right of the sun symbol on the top bar. Click the drop down arrow. Click Mars. Type Gusev into the search bar on the top left. Gusev is big - about 150 kms in diameter. It 's about 14 degrees S of the equator. Note the huge water course breaching the crater ramparts at about 5 o'clock and flowing away to the SE. It probably flowed at short intervals (geologically speaking) between about 3 to 4 billion years ago.

Spirit is located pretty well dead centre. The background hills seen in the movie are not those of Gusev. They are the walls of a smaller range of hills inside of Gusev about 15-20kms away.

The rocks in the bottom left foreground form the top of a hill near to Spirit The sky is very hazy due to the presence of regional dust storm - it is near mid summer and the dust storm season for Mars. Dust storms are very dangerous for these solar power rovers. Note how the sun disappears well before it hits the horizon.

The movie was made from black and white jpegs, 16kb each, downloaded from the Exploratorium web site where NASA downloads data from the Mars Rovers pretty well immediately after they are received by the Deep Space Network. The colours will look different according to your monitor settings and other factors.

Steve Squyres/Jim Bell, of the Rover program, have pressed for real time release of info like this. Such a forward looking progressive policy is much appreciated. Thanks to them and thanks NASA. It was very exciting to see the sunset a day after it happened. Great to be able to add my little bit by processing the black and white stills into a colour movie. No doubt they will be doing a far better job than me when they have the time!

Credits for pics;
1- NASA-JPL-Caltech featuring Spirit, Colette, Kim and Paolo
2- Martin Pauer-Wikimedia-NASA picturing Gusev Crater
3- NASA-JPL for the Spirit stills of the sunset

All is in the public domain. For conditions of use, refer to those credited.

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