The surprising answer to How much more quickly does night come on Mars compared to Earth? Will it be easier to see Mercury there? is "up to two hours(!)" "...indicating that Martian dust extends very high into the atmosphere."

But I failed to ask how bright the twilight is. If it's longer but dimmer, then it might not interfere with seeing Mercury from Mars.

Question: How bright is twilight on Mars compared to Earth? Is there a plot of measured brightness (e.g. magnitudes per square degree or something similar) as a function of time, or at least for a few different times?

  • $\begingroup$ Brightness alone might not be enough. The level of "noise" in the twilight will considerably affect observations. $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2020 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


Partial answer. (I don't have numerical data.)

This NASA article describes "shining clouds" that occur after sunset. It includes pictures:

clouds after Mars sunset

The clouds reflect sunlight, increasing surface illumination after sunset. The same article states that the phenomenon is seasonal.

Thus, one would expect significant variation in the brightness of Mars twilight, just as there is variation here on Earth.


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