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2020: Earth and Venus From Mars

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Two images of the night sky were combined to show Earth and Venus as seen by the Mast Camera aboard NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on June 5, 2020, the 2,784th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA Photo)

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

While we have been observing the morning planets – Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – and Venus is now taking its place there, NASA’s Curiosity Rover captured Earth and Venus in its camera.

On the surface of Mars, Curiosity’s Mast Camera was photographing the sky to measure the brightness of twilight on Earth date June 5, 2020.  The image as a combination of two separate exposures.

In the image, Earth looks brighter than Venus.  Venus is actually about twice as bright as Earth from the Martian surface.

NASA’s Mark Lemmon stated, “The brief photo session was partly to gauge the twilight brightness: During this time of year on Mars, there’s more dust in the air to reflect sunlight, making the air particularly bright.”

Read more about this observation here.

To see Mars in our sky, read this article. Continue to watch the planets with us as Venus makes its grand entrance into the morning sky of Earth.

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