The Curiosity rover, and the photo you took of the Earth and Venus on June 5, 2020 from the surface of Mars Credit: NASA


Curiosity rover

the NASA Mars occasionally stops to look up at the stars. Recently, captured

a shot of the Earth and Venus

in the night sky of the Red Planet.

Curiosity pointed its

Mast Camera

, or Mastcam, in the sky about 75 minutes after sunset on June 5, 2020, the day 2784 martian, or sol, of the mission.

An overview of the twilight of the two images reveals the Earth in a box, and Venus in the other. Both planets appear as simple points of light, due to a combination of distance and dust in the air; normally they would look like very bright stars.

Measure the brightness of the twilight martian

The brief photo session was in part to measure the brightness of the twilight: during this time of year on Mars,

there is more dust in the air that reflects sunlight

what makes this particularly bright,

said in a statement

the co-investigator for Mastcam, Mark Lemmon, of the Institute of Space Sciences in Boulder, Colorado.

“Even the stars moderately bright were not visible when this image was taken from Venus,” said Lemmon. “The Earth also has twilights bright after some major volcanic eruptions”.

When the Mastcam of Curiosity

he took pictures of the Earth and its Moon in 2014

the color and the brightness of the sky were significantly different from the most recent images due to all the dust to great altitude in the air martian at this time.

At the bottom of the new images is located at the top of a rock called Tower Butte in the ‘support unit of clay’, that Curiosity has been exploring the surface for over a year. Since its landing in 2012, the rover has captured sunsets on mars the blue, and asteroids that pass, as well as the two moons of Mercury and Mars, Phobos and Deimos, in transit across the Sun.



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