It is impossible to imagine life on our planet without the sun. We’ve all seen how amazing sunrise and sunset can be – it’s something you just can’t take out of your eyes.
But have you ever tried to imagine how this could be from the point of view of different planets and moons in our solar system? Digital illustrations by Ron Miller, who spent decades representing views beyond our world, can help us here.
We invite you on an interplanetary tour to see what sunrise is like on other worlds.
How Does the Sun Appear on Other Planets?
Mercury is only 60 million kilometers from the Sun or 39% of the distance between the latter and the Earth. That is why the sunrise on Mercury is three times bigger and brighter than on Earth.
The Sun that can almost be seen from the surface of Venus is 108 million km (72% of the distance from Earth to the Sun).
Due to the thick clouds surrounding this planet, the Sun looks like a light-colored spot in the sky on an overcast, murky day.
Mars orbits our star at a distance of 230 million kilometers, which is approximately 1.5 times more than Earth.
But it is not the distance that reduces the Sun’s visibility, but the strong winds that carry dust up into the outer reaches of the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
This is how the Sun looks from Europe, one of Jupiter’s moons. Jupiter is much, much farther, 779 million km from the Sun (5.2 times greater than the distance from the Sun to Earth).
Sunlight illuminates Jupiter in a reddish ring as it passes through the layers of the gas giant’s atmosphere.
Saturn is one of the most instantly recognizable planets. It orbits around the Sun at a distance of 1.5 trillion kilometers (9.5 times the distance from Earth to our star).
The sun’s rays are refracted by the abundance of ice crystals and gases in the water, creating incredible images like the ‘false sun’ seen here.
On Ariel, one of Uranus’ moons, you would be treated with an unusual but spectacular view. Here, the Sun barely provides heat, as it is nearly 2.8 billion km away (or 19 times the distance from the Sun to Earth).
This is what the Sun would look like if you were on Triton, Neptune’s largest moon. The distance to our star is 4.5 billion km (or 30 times the distance from Earth to the Sun).
Huge geysers of dust and gas on this icy satellite overshadow the tiny disk of light suspended in a starry dark sky.
From the perspective of the planet furthest from our solar system, the Sun is little more than a small bright spot of light.
Pluto is 6 billion kilometers from the Sun (or 40 times the distance from it to Earth), which means that the light that reaches it is 1,600 times weaker than what we receive here.
But that’s still 250 times brighter than a full moon seen from Earth!