Stunning photo: Earth, as seen from Mars

This was just released today by NASA. It is quite a humbling image from the Mars rover Curiosity, though it’s not quite the same impact as the Blue Marble image from Apollo 8, but historically significant nonetheless.

This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover includes Earth as the brightest point of light in the night sky. Earth is a little left of center in the image, and our moon is just below Earth.

Researchers used the left eye camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture this scene about 80 minutes after sunset on the 529th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars (Jan. 31, 2014). The image has been processed to remove effects of cosmic rays.

A human observer with normal vision, if standing on Mars, could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright “evening stars.”

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover’s Mastcam.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

Click for a full resolution image:

IDL TIFF file

Source: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA17936

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Truthseeker

Earth even looks blue in the image. Has there been any colour correction or is that approximately how the human eye would see it (if it was no Mars)? I am not sure what “processed to remove the effects of cosmic rays” mean.

Stunning and belittling. Yikes.
One nice thing: No celebs photobombing it.

Michael D

I guess if you live on Mars, Earth is the Morning Star.

Gunga Din

Mark and two Cats says:
February 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm
You are here
==================================================
Bob Tisdale says:
February 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm
Stunning and belittling. Yikes.
One nice thing: No celebs photobombing it.

====================================================
Yes. Glad it doesn’t say, “A Kardasian is here.” 😎

Agree with Bob. A humbling reminder of our place in the grand order of things.

We really are just a speck in the cosmos. Less than a speck.
That pic is a glimpse of the Total Perspective Vortex
http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Total_Perspective_Vortex
“The prospective victim of the TPV is placed within a small chamber wherein is displayed a model of the entire universe – together with a microscopic dot bearing the legend “you are here”. The sense of perspective thereby conveyed destroys the victim’s mind.”

Leon Brozyna

A new perspective on all our cares and troubles … we are but an evening star with nothing of note to draw anyone’s attention.

Walter Allensworth

… and each of us but one being in billions on this speck.

George McFly......I'm your density

I can see my house! 🙂

Almah Geddon

I had to clean the dust off my monitor to ensure I was looking at the right speck!

Bob B.

I wonder what it would look like without all the extra CO2

Fred Harwood

Andy also noticed on his NYT Blog.
Different emphasis. He could not resist “small is beautiful” in his first sentence.

H.R.

“See that spec of light over there, Dad? I wonder if there’s intelligent life there…”

Rud Istvan

See what real science can do, even when it takes its focus off the real mission to just look around and record observations? Not a model anywhere. Just beautiful data.

I’m pretty sure I saw Al Gore’s footprint…..

FergalR

Moon and Venus – seen from Earth:
http://i.imgur.com/DB09Ppe.jpg

Bob B.

H.R. says:
February 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm
“See that spec of light over there, Dad? I wonder if there’s intelligent life there…”
“Naw son, that’s Earth. Let me tell you the story of Barack Obama and the people who elected him…twice”

Trev

Did anyone else spot the canals?
But seriously though folks, what do Mar’s own moons look like from Mars?

Robertv

Nobody outside the solar system would miss us if it suddenly disappeared.

Trev

Mars’ …. of course. (sigh)

Thanks for the new perspective, from a Martian robot’s eye.
We have sure gone far from our roots.

Robertv

No Moon.

FergalR

^^ Sorry, didn’t link for the Moon and Venus pic above: http://petapixel.com/2013/02/13/the-moon-and-venus-captured-in-a-single-photograph/

Gareth Phillips

Er……….. Wow.

Truthseeker says: February 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm “I am not sure what “processed to remove the effects of cosmic rays” mean.”
I think; Cosmic rays and radiation in general cause noise specks/faults in the CCD image that you would see like dust on your monitor. They can become hard persistent faults and a permanent speck in the images.

Brent Seufert

… Selfie

About the uniqueness of life, Barrow and Tipler in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle argue we would be missed on either of two accounts; that existence depends on our perception of the Universe (the Strong Principle), or that we are members of a very small category that can’t afford any loss.

Louis Hooffstetter

Looks almost like Mars seen from Earth

Maybe that’s just dust in the Martian wind.

Pat Frank

I find the image exhilarating, not humbling. Speck, schmeck, we are the Earth-born. We have raised ourselves up, looked at the sky, developed ethics, invented science and have gone to the planets. We are making ourselves worthy to inherit the universe. The stars are next.
I’m proud of us, we humans, happy to be one of us, and glory in the vision we have made.

Andres Valencia says: February 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm “Thanks for the new perspective, from a Martian robot’s eye. We have sure gone far from our roots.”
Or not. It calls to my mind Robert Frosts Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, with the robot ‘little horse’ shaking its harness bells asking if there is some mistake. The poet man is put in mind of the “promises” he has to keep, of the miles he still must travel. We are not told, however, that the call of social responsibility proves stronger than the attraction of the starry woods, which are “lovely” as well as “dark and deep”.

tadchem

All the UFOs that have been landing on Mars come from there, according to Nosro Sllew.

braddles

I think you can see the moon just below the Earth in the hi-res image. Just one pixel.

MattS

Mark and two Cats says:
February 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm
You are here
===========================================================================
Of course I am here. Where else would I be?

Joe Haberman

If you look close, you can see the moon too.

MattS

Gunga Din,
“Yes. Glad it doesn’t say, “A Kardasian is here.” 8-)”
In honor of ancient map makers everywhere, it should be re-labeled “Here there be Idiots”. 🙂

Truthseeker

Doug Huffman – thank you for the cosmic ray explanation.
George McFly – that is Al Gore’s house you can see …

Jim Brock

The thought that struck me was the effect on a colonist from earth, gazing at the sky and thinking “There is home, so far away and so small. Homesick.”

asybot

Thanks for the puns guys but Bob B at 2.35 takes #1 for now

Gamecock

Looks like Starry Night Backyard image.

Humble Pie In the Sky of Mars!

clipe

Am I crazy or did I catch Jupiter, Mars and Uranus in conjunction, during my last visit to Earth?
Or was my Sony Cybersomething point-and-shoot very drunk at the time?
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/kevster1346/uranusspeck.jpg

Jon

I wonder when they, UNEP, comes forward with an catastrophic anthropogenic solar influence hypothesis ?

Robertv

So there is no need to go to Ganymede to make a picture of Earth.

mike

great photo but the Earth test with arrow kinda ruined the pic for me.

Brent Seufert says:
February 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm … Selfie
That is not a selfie, this is a selfie:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/D99C0F51-C8C4-4166-8FEC77845BDC1553.jpg
We are much brighter from Saturn – or the processing was done by a HUGE proponent of the Mediocrity Principle. (:

James Strom

Pat Frank says:
February 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I’m proud of us, we humans, happy to be one of us, and glory in the vision we have made.
****
You’ve got it right. There is a political and cultural group who are ashamed to be human, but they are a minority on this website.

I can’t see anything, there’s a dead pixel in my computer screen in the exact spot where the arrow is pointing at.

jeanparisot

Here where I would get in trouble, if I were at rover control: I would work out the orbital mechanics and angles, then use the Rover to make some stone piles that described Earth’s orbit from Mars. Just to baffle some future alien scientist if we get wiped out.