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How We Look from Mars

Was there ever a civilization on Mars that looked up through a telescope at the Earth? A new picture from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, which has been orbiting Mars since 1997, shows what they would have seen.

The image shows Earth in a "half-Earth" phase. The bright area at the top of the image of Earth is cloud cover over central and eastern North America. Below that, a darker area includes Central America and the Gulf of Mexico. Another bright feature is caused by clouds over South America. The image also shows our moon, as well as Jupiter, with 3 of its moons.

"We've spent the last six-and-a-half years staring at Mars right in front of us," says Michael Malin, of Malin Space Science Systems, who operates the camera aboard Mars Global Surveyor. "Taking this picture allowed us to look up from the work of exploring Mars ... and gain a new perspective on the neighborhood, one in which we can see our own planet as one among many."

Will humans see that view one day? Never underestimate the human ability to travel.

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