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The Earth and Moon, as seen by Mars Express in Mars orbit

The Earth and Moon, as seen from Mars
Click to see four image movie.

The science team for Europe’s Mars Express orbiter recently turned the spacecraft’s camera upward to capture a sequence of four images of the Earth with the Moon circling around it.

The images were taken at 14:08, 03:10 and 19:49 UTC on 15, 21, 27 May 2023 respectively, and at 15:00 UTC on 2 June 2023. This covers a bit more than half of the Moon’s monthly motion around the Earth. The distance between Earth and Mars varied from 279 186 624 km to 301 016 265 km during this time. The image resolution is about 2570 km per pixel.

To the right is the June 2nd image, cropped and enhanced to post there. The Earth is the larger spot to the left. The picture gives a sense of what the Earth-Moon double planet system looks like from Mars. Unlike all other planets, where the size difference between planet and moon is great, the Earth/Moon system is comprised of a Moon quite large in comparison to its central planet.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Call Me Ishmael

    “Unlike all other planets, where the size difference between planet and moon is great …”

    … unless you consider Pluto a planet (which yes, thank you, I do). Pluto/Charon are even closer in size than Earth/Moon.

  • Call Me Ishmael: I forgot about Pluto/Charon. Still, both this binary and the Earth/Moon are exceptions, not the rule.

  • pzatchok


    The size relationship could quite possibly be the only reason life exists on the Earth.

  • Star Bird

    Earth would look a Blue/Green Color the moon Grey or White from Earth Mars looks a rusty color

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