Ad ID: 2424
Added: May 25, 2021
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet had to check he was orbiting the right planet.
Earth and Mars look pretty different from each other. We see Mars as a dry dusty, reddish place while Earth looks blue and green with swirly white clouds. Can planets cosplay as each other? Earth tried.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet had to question where he was in the solar system when he looked out the window of the International Space Station this month and snapped a photo of Earth looking a lot like Mars.
“No cloud in sight and the red and ochre colors stretching to the horizon,” Pesquet wrote. “This is how I imagine the Perseverance rover would have seen Mars on its approach to landing.”
The wide desert expanses of Earth can act as Mars doppelgangers when seen from the proper angle. Despite initial appearances, there are some clues this isn’t Mars. There are hints of clouds on the right side of the image and the curving blue area across the top is a telltale sign of our planet’s more substantial atmosphere.
Pesquet is part of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission that arrived at the ISS in April. He’s had his eye on the desert parts of Earth recently and captured a nice view of the “Eye of the Sahara,” a dome-shaped geologic structure in Mauritania in Africa.