• Mars

Mars (Photo : Reuters)

NASA's Curiosity rover sent back images that reveal a blue sunset happening on Mars. According to scientists, the blue sunset is the outcome of perfectly-sized dust particles suspended on the "red planet's" atmosphere.

The images were captured by the Curiosity rover's camera, taken in-between dust storms, April 15, the Space reported. NASA has asserted that the photos are representations of the rover's ability to record a sunset in colored, high definition quality.

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Since Mars has been made popular as the "red planet," observers are now surprised by the Martian blue sunset.

"The colors come from the fact that the very fine dust is the right size so that blue light penetrates the atmosphere slightly more efficiently," the National Post quoted Mark Lemmon, the Curiosity mission's team member from A&M University in Texas, as saying. 

"When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the sun than light of other colors does," Lemmon added. "The rest of the sky is in the shades of yellow to orange, as red and yellow light scatter all over the atmosphere instead of staying close to the sun or being absorbed by it." 

While stunning, the images have also led researchers towards examining the dust's vertical distribution in the Martian atmosphere. All photographs were taken within a span of seven minutes and were sent back to Earth originally in white and black, encoded with the use of a Bayer matrix in grayscale. A Bayer matrix is used by digital cameras in documenting colors.