Looking Back at Earth from Another Planet

Enjoy the View of Earth from Mars

Two separate exposures of Earth and the Moon, taken on November 20, 2016, by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera.

During the AAS meeting, NASA released an amazing picture of Earth taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently studying Mars.  We’ve all seen the “pinpoint in a pink sky” of Earth taken by one of the Mars rovers, but this one is the first to really show us what our home planet looks like from the orbit of Mars. I find it specially poignant to look at because, as Carl Sagan once said about the “pale blue dot” image taken by Voyager from the depths of the solar system, everyone we know, who has ever lived, is on that planet.

It’s really quite a view, when you think about it. In a few decades, it will be the view that human Martians will have, hopefully through a great ground-based telescope near their cities. What will they think about as they spy out the old home planet?  It’s an interesting future to contemplate as the next wave of Martian exploration is being planned to carry humans to Mars.

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