Carl Sagan’s reflections: Amazing images of Earth captured from Mars - pale blue dot

ESA shared four images of Earth and the Moon from Mars.

| Updated on: Jul 19 2023, 18:40 IST
Marvelous moon! Catch a glimpse of the 'Buck Supermoon’
Check out the images of Earth and Moon from Mars.
1/7 The Supermoon was seen on Monday morning, July 3, 2023, appearing opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 7:39 AM EDT, says NASA.  (AFP)
Check out the images of Earth and Moon from Mars.
2/7 The Moon will appear full for 3 days around this time, from Saturday evening to Tuesday evening.   (AFP)
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3/7 There was an increase of 5.8 percent in size and 12.8% in brightness as the moon approached the Earth - it got closer than usual. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP) (AFP)
Check out the images of Earth and Moon from Mars.
4/7 When the moon is in its full moon phase in its orbit around Earth, it's referred to as a supermoon. The term "supermoon" was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. (Photo by Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP) (AFP)
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5/7 A full moon in July is called a Buck Supermoon in certain areas because it coincides with the season in the northern hemisphere when bucks grow new antlers. REUTERS/Henry Romero (REUTERS)
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6/7 In addition to the Buck Moon, the Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, and Wyrt Moon are also names for this lunar event. Lightning storms are common in July, hence the Thunder Moon's name. REUTERS/Henry Romero (REUTERS)
Check out the images of Earth and Moon from Mars.
7/7 Full supermoons are the biggest and brightest full Moons for the year.  (Reuters)
Check out the images of Earth and Moon from Mars.
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Check out the images of Earth and Moon from Mars. (ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

If you look afar from space, our planet and the moon will look like a small bright dot. But, from Mars, you can see a little more than just two bright dots orbiting. Although you might have seen mesmerizing photos of our planet from previous space missions, but these images of the Earth by ESA from Mars, show our planet as just a “pale blue dot”.

“On the special occasion of Mars Express's 20th anniversary since launch, we wanted to bring Carl Sagan's reflections back to the present day, in which the worsening climate and ecological crisis make them more valid than ever,” says Jorge Hernandez Bernal of the University of the Basque Country and Sorbonne University, and part of the Mars Express team who initiated this image.

The recent image shows the clear concern over the planet's climate and its fading richness. Back in 1990, Carl Sagan states that the Earth was a “pale blue dot”, from the perspective of the Voyager spacecraft, and his words are ringing as true as ever even after over 3 decades have passed.

About the images from Mars

According to the ESA report. with the help of the super-resolution channel (SRC) of Mars Express's High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), primarily meant for observing Mars's moons and stars, a sequence of images was captured. The images portray the Earth and moon on four different occasions: May 15, May 21, May 27, and June 2, 2023, covering more than half of the Moon's monthly orbit around Earth.

The final image which was taken on June 2 is marked as the anniversary of the launch of Mars Express which was launched in year 2003. The first image taken by the Mars Express was twenty years ago.

Highlighting climate change, Bernal added, “Even though we have seen images like these before, it is still humbling to pause and think: we need to look after the pale blue dot, there is no planet B.”

This is a serious concern that we as an individual need to pay emphasis on and take the initiative to reduce the effects of climate change with small efforts that can make our planet Earth flourish.

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First Published Date: 19 Jul, 18:40 IST