Stunning View Of Earth And Moon As Seen From Mars

Posted: Jan 7 2017, 12:21pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Stunning View of Earth and Moon as Seen from Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL
 

New NASA image shows the correct size of both Earth and moon relative to each other

A NASA camera on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned a stunning view of Earth and its moon from Mars millions of miles away.

The image is a combination of four separate photographs taken on Nov. 20, 2016 High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera installed on NASA’s Mars orbiter. The spacecraft is orbiting Mars since 2006. When the images were taken, spacecraft was around 127 million miles away from the Earth.

In the image, colors have been adjusted to make both the objects prominent. Earth is having a blue, green and red tint. Red color represents vegetation on the Earth. The moon appears much darker than Earth and it would barely be visible if shown at the same brightness scale as Earth. 

Reddish feature near the middle of the face of Earth is Australia while Antarctica can be seen as a bright white spot in the bottom left of the Earth’s image. Without filters and enhanced colors, the image would look considerably different to the human eye.

The composite image is showing relative size of Earth and moon in relation to each other. The average distance between moon and earth is approximately 30 times Earth’s diameter. 

“Earth and the moon appear closer than they actually are in this image because the observation was planned for a time at which the moon was almost directly behind Earth, from Mars' point of view, to see the Earth-facing side of the moon.” NASA blog says.

Launched in August 2005, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is in search of the evidence that water existed on the Mars’ surface long time ago. The orbiter is equipped with six instruments. Not only they take close-up images of Martian surface but also analyze the samples of soil and rock on Mars.

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