European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this image from the International Space Station (ISS) on June 30, 2018, when the moon and Mars were closest (so far) during his six-month mission.
The distance from Mars to Earth varies as both planets orbit the sun and it’s at its closest since 2003 in the next few weeks, appearing brighter than Jupiter in the night sky. Mars is easy to spot in July 2018, because it’s so bright and red. It’s rising in the east by mid-evening and – for the rest of the night – shines as brightly as Jupiter (which will be more to the west) and more brightly than any star. You’ll also notice Mars for its red color. Here’s more.
In the above image, Mars has been highlighted and enlarged twenty times. Mars has a radius of 2,108 miles (3,389 km) but at the time was roughly 37 million miles (67 million km) from Earth, while the moon has a radius of 1,079 miles (1,737 km) and was at a distance of around 255,000 miles (411,000 km).
Bottom line: Photo of the moon and Mars from the International Space Station.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.