NASA have just gifted Earth’s citizens with a very rare image of the Earth and our moon as seen from Mars. As you gaze up at the night sky and look at our moon and Mars, you may have wondered what we look like from the Red Planet, and now NASA are showing us how we looked from Mars on November 20, 2016, which means that everyone who is reading this right now will have been captured in NASA’s photo and will be in the picture.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released images on Friday from its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment which shows how the Earth and our moon looked when we were 127 million miles away from Mars.
GeekWire reports that the photograph NASA has released has been constructed out of the best shots of our moon and the Earth, based on four sets of images.
— HiRISE (NASA) (@HiRISE) January 6, 2017
Alfred McEwen, who is a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona, explained that this image that was captured of the Earth and our moon from Mars isn’t what we would look like precisely if we were standing on Mars and looking back at ourselves through a telescope. McEwen said that each photograph was processed separately before the images were combined so that the moon would be bright enough.
“The moon is much darker than Earth and would barely be visible at the same brightness scale as Earth. The combined view retains the correct sizes and positions of the two bodies relative to each other. HiRISE takes images in three wavelength bands: infrared, red, and blue-green. These are displayed here as red, green, and blue, respectively. This is similar to Landsat images in which vegetation appears red.”
If you look at the Earth, you can see the land masses of Australia, Antarctica, and Asia, as Alfred McEwen notes.
The reddish feature in the middle of the Earth image is Australia. Southeast Asia appears as the reddish area (due to vegetation) near the top; Antarctica is the bright blob at bottom-left. Other bright areas are clouds.
An older image of the Earth and our moon, as seen from Mars, was released in 2007, when Mars was 88 million miles away from Earth.
— Step_Holt (@Step_Holt) December 13, 2016
The picture we see of the Earth and our moon staring back at us is eerily reminiscent of the famous “pale blue dot” image of Earth that was captured by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990 and showed us what Earth looked like from 3.7 billion miles away. Business Insider have reported the story of how Carl Sagan pleaded with officials to get them to turn their camera back around and aim it at Earth before Voyager 1 left our solar system. Carl Sagan then wrote his famous speech about our “pale blue dot” that is Earth.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there, on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
‘Pale Blue Dot’: Photo of Earth (on the middle right) from 6 Billion kilometers away. Taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. pic.twitter.com/vxOBBeYvsC
— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPix) September 20, 2016
NASA has also just released the idea of homes on Mars for astronauts to live in while they are possibly burrowing underground, as the Inquisitr reported. This means that one day conceivably, when astronauts are living in their “Mars Ice Home” and working on the Red Planet, they may be staring back at us, and now, thanks to NASA’s new images of Earth and our moon as seen from Mars, we will know what we will look like to those astronauts who call Mars home.
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]