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See what Earth and its moon look like from Mars

Check out a Mars-orbiting spacecraft's striking view of Earth from 127 million miles away.

A telescopic view of Earth from Mars.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Mars seen from Earth with the naked eye looks like a bright reddish pinpoint of light. Throw in a strong telescope and the details start to pop. Now reverse the perspective and you get NASA's Image of the Day from Friday: a view of the Earth and its moon from all the way over at Mars.

NASA used two separate exposures snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to create the image; otherwise the moon would have been too dark to see. NASA describes the orbiter as "the most powerful telescope orbiting Mars."

What's extra-cool about this far-off view is the amount of detail visible on Earth. That brownish splotch in the center is Australia.

You might think the moon looks a bit cozy with our Blue Marble, but there's a reason for that: "Earth and the moon appear closer than they actually are in this image because the observation was planned for a time at which the moon was almost directly behind Earth, from Mars' point of view, to see the Earth-facing side of the moon," NASA explains.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launched back in 2005, reached Mars in 2006 and has been sending back fascinating images and data from the Red Planet ever since.