New images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover show Earth shining brighter than any star in the Martian night sky. The rover’s view of its original home planet even includes our moon, just below Earth.
The images, taken about 80 minutes after sunset during the rover’s 529th Martian day (Jan. 31, 2014) are available athttp://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17936 for a broad scene of the evening sky, and athttp://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17935 for a zoomed-in view of Earth and the moon.
The distance between Earth and Mars when Curiosity took the photo was about 99 million miles (160 million kilometers).
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, built the rover and manages the project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.