Image of the Day: Earth and Moon from Mars

Credit: JPL

Ninety-nine million miles from where you're sitting right now, a robot the size of a Volkswagen looked up from the surface of Mars at twilight and took a picture of the brightest point of light in the sky. This point of light isn't a star. It's a planet — our planet. And if you zoom in enough, you can even see our adorable little moon right there, too.

This is a view similar to what you'd actually see if you were standing on Mars and looking up at the sky. You'd have no trouble spotting the Earth and moon with your naked eye, similar to how you can see Mars from Earth if you know where to look. Pictures like this underscore how fragile and timid our species is, as our entire existence is completely wrapped up in that one bright dot, and we've barely even begun to explore the dimmer, smaller one, even though it's right next to us. All it would take is a wayward asteroid (or some grumpy aliens) to end us forever, which is as good of a reason as any to start colonizing the solar system as soon as we possibly can.

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