Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Little Perspective From Mars

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has the HiRise camera on board. HiRise is the largest telescope ever sent to another planet and has been returning spectacular pictures of Mars for the last few years.

On October 3rd, 2007, they turned it around to look at Earth and got the following image (courtesy of NASA/JPL/and the University of to embiggen).

Since Earth is closer to the Sun than Mars, you see Earth has phases just like the Moon. In fact they both have the same phase (the Sun is off to the right in this image). If you look at the full size image, you can make out the cost of South America. It also shows the relative sizes of the Earth and Moon nicely.

Sometimes we just need to see Earth from a different perspective.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


Anonymous said...

Hey! I can see my house!

OrbsCorbs said...

^ lol

Whenever I see our planet floating out in space like that, I am humbled. It looks beautiful, precious, precarious, and vulnerable all at once.