Nothing puts your life into perspective like staring down on our little blue marble from the vastness of Space.
This incredible NASA image, captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, not only shows our planet from Mars in continental detail, but also the relative size of our tiny lunar satellite, the Moon.
The image was captured as part of a calibration exercise for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera, and it reveals Earth at a distance of approximately 205 million kilometers (127 million miles).
The view is so clear
that you can see the continents of the Earth, with Australia visible as a reddish blob in the center of the globe and South East Asia visible to the top left. Antarctica is the bright spot at the bottom, and the other white patches are clouds.
You can see it in full below, and a higher-resolution version can be found here:
The image is a composite of two separate exposures, with their brightness slightly adjusted so that the Moon is visible in comparison to the brightness of the Earth.
But don’t be fooled
– although the Moon and Earth appear to be incredibly close in this image, this is because the Moon was almost directly behind Earth from Mars’ point of view at the time, making it appear much closer than it is.
In reality, the distance between our planet and the Moon is approximately 30 times the diameter of Earth, which is 384,400 km (238,855 miles).
That’s nearly enough to fit all of the planets between us and our satellite (although not as comfortably as Internet memes might have you believe – more on that here).
Here’s what that looks like in perspective:
Despite how small our Moon appears in these images, it is the fifth largest moon in the Solar System and the largest moon in relation to its host planet. (Charon, Pluto’s moon, is larger, but Pluto is no longer a planet.)
It’s incredible to think that in the future we could have humans on Mars looking back on this view, as a stark reminder of how beautiful the water-laden planet we came from really is.
READ MORE: Earth Viewed from The Moon (Video)
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