Jupiter and Earth from Mars
May 31, 2003
The image above shows the blue disk of Earth (top center) and creamy Jupiter (bottom center) as seen from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) on May 8, 2003. The Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) took advantage of a fortuitous planetary conjunction (Sun, Earth and Jupiter in line together) to view both the Earth and Jupiter while in orbit about the Red Planet. At the time this image was taken, Mars and the orbiting camera were 139 million kilometers (86 million miles) from Earth and almost 1 billion kilometers (nearly 600 million miles) from Jupiter. This image shows the comparative size of Earth and Jupiter as viewed from Mars.
Because Jupiter is over 5 times farther from the Sun than is Earth, two different exposures were needed to image the two planets. Mosaiced together, the images have been highly contrast-enhanced and "colorized" in order to show both planets. The MGS MOC high resolution camera only takes grayscale (black-and-white) images; the color was derived from Mariner 10 and Cassini pictures of Earth and Jupiter, respectively.