Early on Thursday, NASA's Curiosity Rover tweeted its latest postcard from space: a stunning photograph of what the Earth looks like from the surface of Mars. It's a humbling image. Pictured is a tiny, twinkling dot on a darkened horizon. The Earth is the brightest object in the Martian sky. A zoomed-in version reveals the moon nestling just underneath.
The astronomical snap was taken by Curiosity's left facing camera, MastCam, 80 minutes after sunset on the 529th Martian day. NASA says that any human observer with normal vision standing on Mars, could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright "evening stars." Just like 'Earthrise' which was taken 45 years ago from our moon, the photo is provocative, and a stunning reminder of our fragile place in the universe.
To give you a better sense of scale, here's how Curiosity's image compares to other stunning photographs taken from space:
Taken by the Spirit rover from the surface of Mars on May 19, 2005.
Taken by Cassini while orbiting Saturn on July 19, 2013.
Taken by Juno on October 9, 2013, as it flew past Earth on its way to Jupiter.
Taken by MESSENGER on September 1, 2010, on the spacecraft's closest orbit to the Sun.
Taken by weather satellite TIROS-1 on April 1, 1960.