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Views From Other Planets


Mr Q
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Like the pictures of Earth from the Moon, I have always wondered what the Sun would look like from other planets (angular size, magnitude) and how planets would look like with the unaided eye and telescopically from a close by planet.

I tried searching the web but came up empty. Anyone out there know of a site with this data?

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The only image I know of, is the sun setting in a Martian sky, taken by one of the Rovers.

I still marvel at the feats of those technological marvels. Their endurance was/is astonishing, a great credit to their creators.

I personally like to regard them as the first Martians. They have earned that accolade :).

Ron.

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I would like to set up my 4SE on a Star Wars-style Cloud City floating over the Venusian clouds, and point my scope up at Earth at opposition. It would be bigger and far brighter than Jupiter as seen from Earth and the detail must be phenomenal. And what a sight with our big Moon floating nearby.

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You can do this on stellarium, just select a planet and press ctrl + G

Thats quite a fun feature :)

According to Stellarium, the Earth as viewed from Mars is magnitude 2.45 at the moment. I wonder if that is accurate ?

Edited by John
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According to Stellarium, the Earth as viewed from Mars is magnitude 2.45 at the moment. I wonder if that is accurate ?

... and a nice crescent shape if you could make it out in the Martian glare of the sun very close by to the Earth. But according to Stella, this is how it would look (magnified from it's 0'25" diameter in the Martian sky). Cool stuff!

post-29849-133877734878_thumb.jpg

Edited by FrankieValley
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There's a neat pick from one of the spacecraft looking back at a crescent of the earth and moon that looks spectacular - I can't remember which one and it was about 2-3 years ago. I'm sure there's been a Cassini view of earth at some point, though I can't find it on the web.

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Aha! So 40 x 40 = 1000? Arithmetic as according to the Daily Fail no doubt! (Or perhaps they got the '1000' figure based on Pluto's present distance, which is fairly close to perihelion at a bit over 30 AU).

Even at 1600 times fainter than it appears from Earth, at about magnitude -18, the Sun would still be some 100 times brighter than the Full Moon seen from Earth, so the illumination would still be substantial. If you're planning a trip to Pluto (or, say, Triton), don't count on dark skies in daytime (or can you? Depends if there are any atmospheres...)

Edited by 661-pete
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Don't forget this image taken by Voyager 1 some 4 Billion miles from Earth.

280px-Pale_Blue_Dot.png

Now if that doesn't make you realise our place in the universe I don't know what will. Carl Sagan had them turn Voyager around to take the shot and this is what he had to say about it.

We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

Edited by Slim
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I was thinking to myself - why stop at the Solar System?

Courtesy of Celestia, I've taken a virtual trip to a putative planet circling the 'nearby' star Altair (about 16LY away). Here is a grab of what the Orion region looks like from there.

Notice that Orion is still quite recognisable, but both Procyon and Aldebaran are shifted from their usual places. And as for our Sun (which Celestia for some reason refuses to label, so I've marked it), it's gone to join the neighbourhood of Sirius and Procyon.

Needless to say you wouldn't have a prayer of seeing any Solar System planets - not even by transit (since Altair isn't on the ecliptic).

Not much to show for it, is there?

Rubs it in even more strongly, how insignificant we all are.

post-14835-1338777353_thumb.jpg

Edited by 661-pete
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