See if you can tell Earth and Mars apart in these mind-blowing photos

Because of how they appear from afar, we call Mars the Red Planet and Earth the Blue Planet.

But these two worlds don’t look so different when you zoom in, which is exactly what scientific satellites do to give researchers information on how different regions of each planet change over time.

We’ve collected some of these satellites’ spectacular images of Mars and Earth and juxtaposed them to test your skills.

Can you tell which is the planet you call home and which is the desolate, lifeless wasteland more than 141 million miles away?

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA
NASA

Earth is on the right.

During a recent pass over the Australian continent, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly snapped 17 photos from the International Space Station, and they all look insanely alien -- almost like certain features on Mars.

Mars is on the left.

When temperatures heat up in the Martian spring, the carbon-dioxide ice in the polar caps sublimates, meaning it changes from its solid form directly to a gas, into the atmosphere, leaving behind these distinct starburst patterns. Why the melting process makes these characteristic patterns is a subject of ongoing research.

(All of the photos of Mars shown here were taken by the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Each Mars photo has false colouring that highlights distinct Martian features, like sand dunes.)

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA
NASA

Earth is on the left.

This photo, taken by NASA's Landsat 5 satellite, shows Lake Eyre, which is located in Australia. Lake Eyre contains the lowest natural point of the entire continent.

Mars is on the right.

The north pole on Mars is surrounded by sand dunes containing a type of igneous rock called basalt. Some of those crescent-shaped dunes, like the ones shown on the right, resemble dunes common in desert regions on Earth, so don't worry if you got this one wrong.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA
NASA

Earth is on the left.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this shot. Unfortunately, he does not specify where on Earth this is, but he gives a nice description on Instagram saying 'Looks like #PumpkinSpice has officially taken over Earth.'

Mars is on the right.

A common Martian feature are sand dunes, like these, which line the floor of one of the oldest craters on Mars, Noachis Terra. By taking multiple pictures of sand dunes, scientists can see how the size and shape change and use that to determine wind strength.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA
NASA

Earth is on the right.

This is another one of Kelly's shots over Australia.

Mars is on the left.

Shown here are Martian plateaus with gentle slopes lines with almost perfectly-spaced sand dunes. The dune spacing is sensitive to wind, which gives scientists clues to the sedimentary history of the surrounding terrain.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

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