Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Captures A Stunning Image Of The Planet Earth And The Moon From Mars

First Posted: Jan 10, 2017 03:44 AM EST

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) encapsulated an image of the planet Earth and the Moon from the Red Planet. It shows the continent-size detail on the planet and the relative size of the tiny lunar satellite, the Moon.

The image was taken on Nov. 20, 2016, using the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In the image, the Moon was much darker than the planet Earth. It would be difficult to perceive if it was shown at the same brightness scale as the planet Earth.

The Earth in the image indicates at around 205 million kilometers (127 million miles). It could be perceived in the image the continents of Earth such as Australia shown as the reddish blob at the core of the globe. Meanwhile, one can see South East Asia on the top left and Antarctica as the bright spot at the bottom. The white patches are the clouds, according to

In the image, the Moon and the Earth seem closer at distance. This is because the Moon was nearly directly behind Earth from Mars' view. On the other hand, the distance of the Moon from the Earth is about 30 times the diameter of Earth that is about 384,400 km or 238, 855 miles. With this distance, all the planets can be fit, according to Science Alert.

With regard to the size of the Moon in this image, it may look tiny. On the other hand, the Moon is the fifth largest moon in the Solar System. It is also the biggest Moon relative to its host planet. Meanwhile, the Mars reconnaissance Orbiter has been exploring and researching the Red Planet since 2006.

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