Earth from Mars

Earth and the Moon as seen from MarsVia Stranger Fruit, the planet Earth and its Moon, as seen from Mars. To the naked eye, Earth would be nothing more than a bright blue point of light in the Martian night sky. This photo was taken by a very high-resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, like looking through a powerful telescope.

Today’s a big day for Earth-Mars relations. The Phoenix lander is scheduled to touch down in the far north at 7:53 PM EDT tonight. Scientists believe there is water ice under the surface there, and Phoenix is equipped to dig for it. (Speculation that Phoenix will bring the ice back to earth to counteract global warming is a pretty good joke, I think.)

If you are a space nut, Space Nut Central (better known as The Planetary Society) suggests places where you can follow the landing live.

Update: Photos from the Phoenix lander.