Earth, a “Bright Evening Star” as seen from Mars

On January 31, 2014, about 80 minutes after sunset on its 529th Martian day (or sol), NASA’s Curiosity Rover has turned its camera back to home and took this amazing photo of Earth and Moon from a distance of around 99 million miles (160 million kilometers). In the image which has the serial number of PIA17936, Earth can be seen as the brightest point of light in the night sky, a little left of center and our moon is just below Earth.

Earth from Mars by the Curiosity Rover (January 31, 2014)
This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon was 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 the effects of cosmic rays. According to NASA, “a human observer with normal vision, if standing on Mars, could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright evening stars“. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

Two annotated versions of this image are also available, you can see them below.

PIA17936: Earth from Mars by the Curiosity Rover (January 31, 2014), Annotated version 1
PIA17936: Earth from Mars by the Curiosity Rover (January 31, 2014), Annotated version 1. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU
PIA17936: Earth from Mars by the Curiosity Rover (January 31, 2014), Annotated version 2
PIA17936: Earth from Mars by the Curiosity Rover (January 31, 2014), Annotated version 2.
 Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

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