Astronauts on the Apollo 17 space mission first described the Earth as a big blue marble all the way back in 1972, when they captured the iconic image of the same name. Now, more than four decades later, new images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show our home planet continues to look just like a blue marble -- or as one Fred Randall described it, a "ripe, blue blueberry" -- all the way from Mars.
NASA captured the stunning images of both the Earth and the moon when scientists calibrated the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard the orbiter back in November, and recently released the images together as a single composition. As you can see (below or via the full-resolution version), it offers a remarkable view of what we look like from a staggering 127 million miles away with enough clarity to actually make out continents.
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Specifically, the reddish shape near the middle of the face of Earth is Australia, according to a NASA press release. If you think the moon looks a bit too close to Earth in the image, NASA explains the observation and subsequent composition were made based on when the moon was almost directly behind the Earth from Mars' point of view, and that both objects are actually in their correct positions relative to each other.
Again, it's worth noting the images weren't captured from the surface of Mars, but rather a high-tech camera on NASA's spacecraft orbiting the red planet. It's probably safe to assume Earth would look more like a blue-tinted star if you were standing, say, right next to the Curiosity rover. If Elon Musk has his way, though, we might just see it for ourselves someday.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and can't believe you can clearly make out Australia all the way from Mars. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.