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Mars - A Moment Frozen in Time A Moment Frozen in Time

On May 19, 2005, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of the Gusev crater on Mars. This image mosaic was taken around 6:07 on the evening of the rover's 489 Martian day, or sol. Spirit was commanded to stay awake briefly after sending that sol's data to the Mars Odyssey orbiter just before sunset.

The filter combination used to take this image allows false color images to be generated that are similar to what the human eye would see, but with the colors slightly exaggerated. Because Mars is farther from the Sun than the Earth is, the Sun appears only about two-thirds the size that it appears in a sunset seen from the Earth. The terrain in the foreground is the rock outcrop "Jibsheet", a feature that Spirit investigated for several weeks. The floor of Gusev crater is visible in the distance, and the Sun is setting behind the wall of Gusev some 80 kilometers (50 miles) in the distance.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell