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| | Earth | Human World on Feb 07, 2014

Curiosity rover sees Earth and moon from Mars

Earth is now an evening “star” as seen in the sky of Mars. A closer look reveals a double world.

The Curiosity rover on Mars captured imagery of the brightest object in its evening twilight sky, our own Earth and moon, on January 31, 2014. The rover has been at Dingo Gap, inside the Gale Crater, on Mars this week. It captured these images on Sol 529, that is, the rover’s 529th day on Mars. Just think … everything we know is within that little dot, seen as a “star” from the planet just next door. Read more about it here.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

Thank you, James Maltby, for the heads up!

This is cool, too, from the blog ridingwithrobots.org. Earth seen from Mars. Mars seen from Earth.

View larger. | Via ridingwithrobots.org.

View larger. | Earth seen from Mars. Mars seen from Earth. Left: Earth and its moon in the evening sky of Mars, as seen by the Curiosity rover. Right: Mars rising over Salt Lake City. Mars credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU. Earth credit: Bill Dunford. Via ridingwithrobots.org.

Right now, as Earth shines in Mars evening sky, Mars shines in Earth’s late night sky until dawn. No matter where you are on Earth, Mars rises in the east around 11 p.m. local time in early February. It’ll be coming up around 10 p.m. local time by this month’s end. In our sky, Mars now appears near the bright star Spica. Mars reaches its highest point for the night about one hour before dawn in early February and about two hours before dawn late in the month.

Mars comes to a good place for viewing in Earth’s sky only about once every two years, but the time is fast approaching. Earth will pass between Mars and the sun in early April. Between now and then this planet will be edging toward more convenient visibility in our evening sky, growing brighter all the while.

To learn more about viewing Mars in Earth’s sky, see EarthSky’s February 2014 guide to the five visible planets.

Bottom line: The Curiosity rover on Mars captured an image of Earth shining in Mars evening sky. The video in this post clearly shows both our Earth and moon: a double world seen from Mars. Another image in this post contrasts Earth in Mars’ sky with Mars in Earth’s sky. We also tell you how to find Mars in Earth’s sky.

What Curiosity is seeing on the ground this week at Dingo Gap

Don’t miss this new crater on Mars, spotted from above by a NASA orbiter