The Sky on Mars


Going further out in the solar system, here is a rendering of the sky and asscending sun as seen from the surface of Mars (click image for larger view and here for an index of frames (both 8-bit and 16-bit) and here for an MP4 animation) . Mars has more dust and less gas compared with Earths' atmosphere, making for an interesting comparison. Near the sun, the size of the dust particles produces a bluish tint due to the Mie scattering. Farther from the sun, the iron oxide composition switches the hue to slightly reddish.

2018 update


Here is a new sequence with various refinements, particularly to the sky brightness pattern and color near the horizon for various solar altitudes. A slice of land surface is also added.

Monte Carlo version


I can report on some progress with a Monte Carlo planetary atmosphere simulation program. The first image shows the Monte Carlo result compared with the second image made with my "regular" ray-tracing program. The sun is 51 degrees high. Aesthetically the Monte Carlo one has a bit more brownish tint.

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