What does the sun look like from other planets? Given the vast and disparate distances, it is not so easy to imagine.
But the digital renderings created by Ron Miller, a Virginia-based illustrator who has spent decades representing space, help answer this delicate question. They show the sun as it appears in the sky of each of the nine planets (along with our favorite dwarf planet, Pluto).
“I’ve taken care in not only making sure the Sun is depicted realistically, but also the surfaces of the planets and satellites as well,” Miller told IFLScience.
Scroll down to see Miller’s starkly beautiful images…
The sun as seen from Mercury, which is about 60 million kilometers from the sun or 39 percent of the distance from Earth to the sun. On Mercury, the sun is about three times larger than on Earth.
The sun as seen (almost) from Venus, about 108 million kilometers from the sun (72% of the distance from Earth to the sun). Seen from beneath Venus’ dense, sulfuric acid-laden clouds, the sun is no more than a dimly glowing patch in the perpetual overcast.
Earth, which is 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) from the Sun. If you’ve ever seen a solar eclipse, this sight will be very familiar to you
Mars orbits the Sun at a distance of 230 million kilometers, or about 1.5 times further than Earth. But it is not the distance that reduces the visibility of the Sun, but the strong winds that carry dust up into the outer confines of atmosphere of the red planet.
This is what the Sun looks like from Europa, one Jupiter’s moons. It is much, much further away, at 779 million kilometers from the Sun (5.2 times greater than the distance between the Sun and the Earth).
The sun as seen from Saturn, about 1.5 billion kilometers from the sun. It is about 9.5 times farther than the distance from Earth to the sun. Here, water and gas crystals, including ammonia, refract sunlight, creating beautiful optical effects such as haloes and sundogs.
The sun as seen from Ariel, one of Uranus’s moons. Uranus is about 2.9 billion kilometers from the sun, or about 19 times farther than the distance from Earth to the sun.
The sun as seen from Triton, one of Neptune’s moons. Neptune is about 4.5 billion kilometers from the sun. That’s about 30 times farther than the distance from Earth to the sun.
From the perspective of the planet furthest from our solar system, the Sun is little more than a tiny point of light. Pluto is 6 billion kilometers from the Sun (40 times the distance between it and Earth), which means that the light reaching it is 1600 times weaker than that which we receive here.