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THE EARTH AND MOON FROM 8 MILLION KILOMETRES AWAY
This image was taken by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express of the Earth-Moon system from a distance of 8 million kilometres, on 3 July 2003. The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) was pointed towards Earth while journeying to Mars, so it could provide evidence it had survived its launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was the first picture of planetary objects obtained by the Mars Express’s HRSC.
The image taken is in true colours; the Pacific Ocean is in blue, and the clouds near the Equator and in mid to northern latitudes are in white to light gray. The image was processed by the Instrument Team at the Institute of Planetary Research of DLR, Berlin (Germany). The image was composed by combining a super resolution black and white HRSC snap-shot image of the Earth and the Moon with colour information obtained by the blue, green, and red sensors of the instrument.
Mars Express also recorded the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, on the same night the above image was captured.
More on HRSC
Image credit: ESA/DLR/Freie Universität Berlin