In April 2019, NASA’s InSight lander used its Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) to capture a series of Martian sunrise and sunset images.
The first mission to send back such images was NASA’s Viking 1 lander, which captured a sunset on August 21, 1976.
NASA’s Viking 2 then captured a sunrise on June 14, 1978.
Since then, both sunrises and sunsets have been recorded by NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity rovers.
“It’s been a tradition for Mars missions to capture sunrises and sunsets,” said InSight science team co-investigator and imaging lead Dr. Justin Maki, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“With many of our primary imaging tasks complete, we decided to capture the sunrise and sunset as seen from another world.”
InSight’s IDC camera on the lander’s robotic arm snapped these photos on April 24 and 25, 2019, the 145th Martian day (sol) of the mission.
In local Mars time, the shots were taken starting around 5:30 a.m. and then again starting around 6:30 p.m.
Much farther from Mars than it is from Earth, the Sun appears only about two-thirds the size that it does when viewed from Earth.