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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Mar 23, 2006 23:49:49 GMT -6
The Earth and Jupiter from Mars Orbit
- The first planetary conjunction viewed from another planet -
What does Earth look like when viewed from Mars? At 13:00 GMT on 8 May 2003, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) had an opportunity to find out. In addition, a fortuitous alignment of Earth and Jupiter---the first planetary conjunction viewed from another planet---permitted the MOC to acquire an image of both of these bodies and their larger satellites. At the time, Mars and the orbiting camera were 139 million kilometers (86 million miles) from Earth and almost 1 billion kilometers (nearly 600 million miles) from Jupiter. The orbit diagram, above, shows the geometry at the time the images were obtained.
The MOC Earth/Moon image has been specially processed to allow both Earth (with an apparent magnitude of -2.5) and the much darker Moon (with an apparent magnitude of +0.9) to be visible together. The bright area at the top of the image of Earth is cloud cover over central and eastern North America. Below that, a darker area includes Central America and the Gulf of Mexico. The bright feature near the center-right of the crescent Earth consists of clouds over northern South America.
Line of sight of the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor
hi joe, i think this is my first post? anyway, when i got your e-mail, i checked this thread and think that is one of the best shots of earth. you always see it up close and this one gives you an idea what "we" look like from mars. its amazing how big jupiter looks considering how much farther away it is. very cool stuff and thank you for an excellent forum!
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Mar 25, 2006 16:55:58 GMT -6
Thank you very much for the kudos on the forum...and for your first post.
I am pleased that the Forum brings pleasure and pause to appreciate astronomy in many areas, and like my motto that I borrow from Oscar Wilde: We are all in the gutter, some some of us are looking at the stars", too many just don't look up enough.
It is such a great image... two very different planets floating in space...alone but with their satellite moons hugging close by. I condensed the image on the post above for a more efficient display, but you got to visit the original site to appreciate the vast amount of space between the two, where the huge image give some idea. With the new MRO space craft now orbiting Mars and it's great 20" telescopic camera, the look back at Earth will be even better!
I think it will be fun to view the Earth with Mars based telescopes, picking out the continents along with the Ice caps... catching transits and occultations of our Moon.
I like to share what I like and pleased many appreciate the content as well.