Earth and Moon Seen from Mars in November 2016
ESP_048368_9041 Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

This image composite combines the best Earth image (ESP_048368_9041) with the best Moon image (ESP_048368_9044) from four sets of images acquired on 20 November 2016.

Each is separately processed prior to combining (in correct relative positions and sizes), so that the Moon is bright enough to see. The Moon is much darker than Earth and would barely show up at all if shown at the same brightness scale as Earth. Because of this brightness difference, the Earth images are saturated in the best Moon images, and the Moon is very faint in the best (unsaturated) Earth image.

The image color bandpasses are infrared, red, and blue-green, displayed as red, green, and blue, respectively. This is similar to Landsat images in which vegetation appears red. The reddish blob in the middle of the Earth image is Australia, with southeast Asia forming the reddish area (vegetation) near the top; Antarctica is the bright blob at bottom-left. Other bright areas are clouds. We see the western near-side of the Moon.

These images were acquired for calibration of HiRISE data, since the spectral reflectance of the Moon’s near side is very well known.

EDR Products for both observations:

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (6 January 2017)

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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.