China’s Tianwen-1 Mars probe is officially on its way to Mars after launching on 23 July. During the early stages of its journey, the probe managed to capture this mesmerising image of the Earth and Moon in the same frame.
The image seen below was taken from around 1.2 million km from the Earth, according to reports from the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
What makes this image so interesting is the fact that both the Earth and the Moon are crescent-shaped, eerily similar to the now-famous image taken on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which also shows the Earth and the Moon in a crescent shape.
Tianwen-1 was able to capture this image thanks to its optical navigation sensor, according to Science Alert.
The rover sent to Mars as part of the Tianwen-1 mission has been designed to analyse the geology of Mars. It will achieve this using a combination of six instruments including a weather station, magnetic field detector and ground-penetrating radar, along with two cameras.
Tianwen-1 represents the second of three missions to launch during the current window in which Mars will pass relatively close Earth.
Image credit: CNSA