NASA video reveals the haunting beauty of sunsets on other planets

This composite image shows a view of the sunset from the International Space Station in April 2016. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams took the series of photos that took this look at the sun reflecting off the ocean with an accompanying cloud .


We are all familiar with the glorious glow of sunset on Earth, but other worlds experience very different sunsets, as a number of NASA simulations show.

If you were to visit Uranus around sunset, you would see a beautiful palette of blues when the sun dips below the horizon, and finally melts into turquoise. “This greenish blue color comes from the interaction of sunlight with the planet’s atmosphere,” NASA said in a statement this week.

The simulations come from planetary scientist Gerónimo Villanueva, who is working on modeling Uranus’ atmosphere in case NASA decides to send a probe to closely observe the enigmatic giant ice planet. Villanueva tested computer modeling technology by generating sunsets.

Villanueva’s work is presented as two videos, one that gives a view of the entire sky as if viewed through the lens of a camera and another that shows what it would look like if it were on the surface and wrapped in the sunset .

The videos allow us to experience a regular sunset on Earth, a hazy sunset on Earth, and sunsets for Venus, Mars, Uranus, and Titan, a fascinating moon of Saturn. NASA is working on the Dragonfly mission to Titan, which involves an ambitious plan to fly a helicopter on the moon.

For another perspective on a sunset on Mars, Take a look at this view from NASA’s InSight lander in 2019. That is what happens with the sunsets in other worlds: they are strange and familiar.