Random Thoughts on Light and Atmosphere

It’s a gorgeous sunny day that’s inspired me to wonder how much daylight we’d find on other planets – and how bright and what colour that light would be. This week’s prompt will be this lovely picture from NASA’s image gallery:

Daylight on Mars.

So many small details change the quality of the light. Everything that goes into an atmosphere (or the lack of one), the planet’s/moon’s distance from its star, whether it’s a planet or a moon, whether there are any other orbital bodies in the vicinity, the planet’s/moon’s surface, etc.

Mars is farther away from the Sun, lacks atmosphere, and has sand with a different mineral/metal content than anything found on Earth. The luminous red reflects back up from the planet, making it appear as though it does, in fact, have an atmosphere – a reddish one. What would it take to create an actual atmosphere that appeared red to the unaided eye?

I don’t know the answer to that off the top of my head, but I’m fairly confident that I don’t want to attempt to breathe it.