"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust From its vantage point on the surface of Mars, NASA's rover Opportunity relayed a spectacular series of images of a blue-hued sunset on the red planet. Scientists then stitched the pictures, taken over a period of 17 minutes, into a 30-second movie simulation.
The bluish glow around the sun is due to the same dust particles that make Mars' sky appear red. The pictures were taken on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5 using three different filters on the rover's panoramic camera.
The images, along with a second series of the Martian moon Phobos passing in front of the sun, inspired camera lead scientist Jim Bell with Cornell University to quote Proust in a NASA press release about the films.
"Whether it's seeing glorious sunsets and eclipses like these, or the many different and lovely sandy and rocky landscapes that we've driven through over the years, we are all truly exploring Mars through the lenses of our hardy robotic emissaries," Bell said.