April 18, 2024
The first photo of Earth taken from the surface of another planet.
That is the primary picture taken of Earth from the floor of one other planet. It was captured by NASA’s Mars rover, Spirit, one hour earlier than dawn on the 63rd martian day, or sol, of its mission in 2004. NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas AM

Twenty years in the past, on March 8, a NASA Mars rover made historical past when it captured the primary picture of Earth from the floor of one other planet.

The rover, Spirit, landed on the martian floor on January 2004. Quickly after touchdown in Mars’ Gusev Crater, Spirit wasted little time in beaming again photographs of its new environment. A few months later, it snapped a mind-blowing picture (above) providing a view of Earth that was as contemporary because it was astonishing.

“Shortly earlier than dawn [on March 8], Spirit’s digicam managed to seize Earth as a shiny star, showing a lot as Venus does to terrestrial observers. This marked the primary {photograph} of Earth from one other planetary floor,” NASA said in an article on its web site this week.

It was practically one other 10 years earlier than one other NASA rover, Curiosity, got here alongside and captured its personal picture (under) of Earth, this one from inside Mars’ Gale Crater. Curiosity’s image is exceptional for the truth that it additionally reveals Earth’s moon regardless of being taken from 99 million miles (159 million kilometers) away.

Earth captured from Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

“These photographs — and others taken of Earth from ever-more distant vantage factors over the previous eight a long time — supplied a brand new perspective of our house planet’s place in our photo voltaic system,” NASA stated.

Spirit explored the martian floor for nearly one other six years, with the final contact from the rover approaching March 22, 2010. Curiosity, in the meantime, continues its work in Gale Crater till this present day, and one other rover, Perseverance — NASA’s most superior so far — has been exploring Jezero Crater since arriving there in spectacular model in February 2021.

In December 1968, one other iconic Earth picture was captured not by a rover however by retired astronaut Invoice Anders through the Apollo 8 lunar mission in December 1968. Lately, astronauts aboard the Worldwide House Station have additionally been snapping chic photographs of our planet from 250 miles up.

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