Here's how Earth and Moon appear from Red Planet, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows breathtaking picture

09 January 2017, 06:08 PM
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures stunning image of Earth and Moon from Mars (A file photo)
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures stunning image of Earth and Moon from Mars (A file photo)

This is how exactly our planet Earth and its Moon look like when seen from Mars. Thanks to the US space agency NASA, which has provided us a glimpse of Earth and Moon from the Red Planet through an incredible picture.

The picture was clicked through NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on November 20, 2016. The picture combines two separate exposures revealing the continent-size detail on the planet and the relative size of the moon.

The reddish portion seen near the middle of the Earth in the picture is Australia. Mars was about 127 million miles (205 million kilometers) from Earth when the component pictures were taken.

NASA said as the reflectance of the moon's Earth-facing side is well known, the images were clicked to calibrate HiRISE data. 

In order to optimise detail visible on both Earth and the Moon, the exposures were processed separately.

The moon would be barely visible if shown at the same brightness scale as Earth as it is much darker than the planet.

Though combined, the picture retains the correct positions and sizes of the Earth and the Moon.

The distance between the two bodies is about 30 times the diameter of the Earth. In this picture, the Earth and the Moon appear closer than they actually are. This is because the observation was planned for a time when the moon was almost directly behind the Earth, as seen from Mars, in order to capture the Earth-facing side of the Moon.

Stunning pictures of our planet Earth have been captures by several satellites, but this pictured shared by NASA is one of the best shots of the two bodies ever.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is on the mission to study Mars.

First Published: Saturday, January 07, 2017 12:53 PM
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