the Simulator shows what it looks like a sunset on Earth, Venus, Mars, Uranus and other celestial bodies.

a Planetary scientist from space flight Center NASA Goddard have created a simulator that shows how could look like sunsets on other celestial bodies of the Solar system and beyond. Tool description is available on the website space Agency.

to explain the observed phenomena in space, astronomers often resort to the creation of models. Creating a simulation of the spectrum or imagery telescopes, they can create artificial data that show how it will look this or that phenomenon in the study of certain instruments, and then compare them with real observations. This approach not only allows to reduce the processing time, but helps not to miss important signal, to find it in the archived data and interpreted correctly.

Villanueva, Geronimo (Geronimo Villanueva) have created a simulator of sunsets on other planets and satellites during the development of a tool Planetary Spectrum Generator (PSG) for possible mission on Uranus. In the future, NASA is considering the possibility of sending an ice giant probe that will descend into the atmosphere to study its chemical composition. In this case, a computer program that allows to obtain a synthetic spectrum of the atmosphere and surface of planets in a wide range of electromagnetic waves (from 50 nanometers to 10 centimeters) can help to interpret the results of observations.

to check the accuracy of his instrument, Villanueva modeled how it will look in the sky on different celestial bodies, and then compared some of the results obtained with real data. The animation shows a sunset for the observer on Venus, Earth, Mars, Uranus, Saturn’s largest moon Titan and earth-like planet TRAPPIST-1e, open the “Spitzer” in 2017. The white dot represents the location of the Sun.

For each object the sunset looks different from fact that solar radiation different dissipated in the atmosphere — this process is called Rayleigh scattering. For example, on Earth, the blue rays are scattered by air molecules is about 6 times stronger than red, and therefore the sky looks blue and the sun the redder, the closer it is to the horizon. On Uranus the sun’s light interacts with hydrogen, helium and methane in its atmosphere which absorb long-wave (red) part of the world. As a result, the sunset on the ice giant is a rich blue that gradually turns into a Royal blue with turquoise undertones.

In the past, NASA released an online simulator of the Curiosity Rover to the anniversary of his stay on the red planet, and published Mars Trek an interactive map of the surface of Mars, where you can also find the routes of the various Mars Rovers.

Christina Ulasovich

Even more interesting about science and technology