Wow! NASA photo reveals how Earth and Moon look from Mars

NASA photo of Earth and Moon captured from Mars. The image was taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

How does the Earth and Moon look from Mars? Well, to answer this question, NASA has shared a picture of Earth and Moon captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The NASA photo has been shared on its official Twitter handle and is a throwback picture as it was originally taken on October 3, 2007. Sharing the post NASA tweeted, “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught this glimpse of Earth and the Moon. Each of our seven robots now working at Mars is really a #NASAEarthling, acting as our eyes as they explore the Red Planet – deepening our understanding of and appreciation for our blue one.”

In the NASA photo we can see that the Earth is covered by clouds while not much detailing can be seen on the moon. “On the Earth image we can make out the west coast outline of South America at lower right, although the clouds are the dominant features. These clouds are so bright, compared with the moon, that they are saturated in the HiRISE images,” NASA said. it further added that the moon image is unsaturated but brightened relative to Earth for this composite. The lunar images are useful for calibration of the camera.

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As per the information provided by NASA Mars, at the time the image was taken, Earth was 142 million kilometers (88 million miles) from Mars, giving the HiRISE image a scale of 142 kilometers (88 miles) per pixel, an Earth diameter of about 90 pixels and a moon diameter of 24 pixels.

“The phase angle is 98 degrees, which means that less than half of the disk of the Earth and the disk of the moon have direct illumination. We could image Earth and moon at full disk illumination only when they are on the opposite side of the sun from Mars, but then the range would be much greater and the image would show less detail,” NASA added.

It can be known that NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter blasted off from Cape Canaveral in 2005, on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. After a seven-month cruise to Mars and six months of aerobraking to reach its science orbit, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began seeking out the history of water on Mars with its science instruments. The instruments zoom in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyze minerals, look for subsurface water, trace how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitor daily global weather.

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