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

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Could Life On Earth Have Originated From Mars?

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.

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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

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 coloring that highlights distinct Martian features, like sand dunes.)

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Earth is on the left.

NASA's Terra satellite snapped this picture of clouds above the Crozet Islands in the south Indian Ocean. Those ripple effects are produced by the volcanoes on the island that influence air flow around them.

Mars is on the right.

One of the longest ancient valleys on Mars is the Samara Valles, which is 621 miles long. Shown here is a heavily cratered portion of the valley. The craters show up as circles that overlay the sand dunes.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

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

Earth is on the right.

Say hello to the star dunes of Algeria. This photo, taken by NASA's Terra satellite, combines images photographed at different wavelengths, so the colors you're seeing are not what your eye would detect if you could actually visit these dunes in person.

Mars is on the left.

Take a close look at this unusual valley on Mars: You can see large horizontal ridges lining the valley floor with tiny, vertical sand dunes striping the face of each ridge. This suggests that the wind is either flowing from left to right or visa versa.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Earth is on the left.

This is Lake Mackay, which is the largest ephemeral lake in Western Australia. Ephemeral lakes are lakes that are usually dry but briefly fill with water during and after rainfall. NASA describes the darker areas in the image as "some form of desert vegetation or algae."

Mars is on the right.

What looks like lizard skin in this photo is actually a series of polygon-shaped sand dunes. Whenever something is polygon-shaped, scientists get excited because it suggests the presence of shallow ice or evaporation, like in mud flats. However, scientists don't yet know if that is what's causing these polygon on Mars.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

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

Earth is on the right.

What looks like a masterful work of art is actually the Great Salt Desert, the largest desert in Iran. Most of it is uninhabited. This photo was taken by NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.

Mars is on the left.

Sand dunes look like tiny worms inching across the Maritain surface in this photo of a region in the ancient crater called Jezero Crater. "Jezero" is Slovenian for "lake" and this region of Mars is rich in clay minerals, which may have formed in the presence of liquid water.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

NASA

Earth is on the left.

What you're seeing here are clouds over the Atlantic Ocean. The orange gradient of color is actually the moon's shadow, cast over Earth's surface during the total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015. This beautiful photo was taken by NASA's Terra satellite.

Mars is on the right.

The polar caps on Mars contain frost shown here in white. But the frost isn't water-based, it's made of carbon dioxide. When temperatures heat up in the spring, this frost sublimates, or changes from its solid form directly to a gas.

Which photo is of Earth and which of Mars?

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

Earth is on the right.

This photo depicts the dynamic activity of the Yellow Sea, which is the northern part of the East China Sea. You can detect mesmerizing eddies stirring up the waters in this breath-taking shot.

Mars is on the left.

Believe it or not, Mars has dust devils that can reach hundreds of feet high. As they race across the Martian surface, their tracks trace artistic swirls in the sand.

Related: See more photos captured of Mars:

41 PHOTOS
Discoveries about Mars, red planet, signs of water
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See if you can tell Earth and Mars apart in these mind-blowing photos

This Jan. 19, 2016, self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at "Namib Dune," where the rover's activities included scuffing into the dune with a wheel and scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis.

(Photo via NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This Dec. 18, 2015, view of the downwind face of "Namib Dune" on Mars covers 360 degrees, including a portion of Mount Sharp on the horizon. (Photo via NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
A photo taken by NASA's Spirit rover near Home Plate shows silica formations poking out of the soil, which may have been formed by microbial life. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This image made available by NASA on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 shows an artist's rendering of a solar storm hitting the planet Mars and stripping ions from the planet's upper atmosphere. NASA's Mars-orbiting Maven spacecraft has discovered that the sun robbed the red planet of its once-thick atmosphere and water. On Thursday, scientists reported that even today, the solar wind is stripping away about 100 grams of atmospheric gas every second. (Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA via AP)
These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, corroborating their original hypothesis that the streaks are indeed formed by liquid water. The blue color seen upslope of the dark streaks are thought not to be related to their formation, but instead are from the presence of the mineral pyroxene. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (Infrared-Red-Blue/Green(IRB)) false color image (ESP_030570_1440) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site produced by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (University of Arizona). Vertical exaggeration is 1.5. (Photo by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
Dark narrow streaks called recurring slope lineae emanating out of the walls of Garni crater on Mars. The dark streaks here are up to few hundred meters in length. They are hypothesized to be formed by flow of briny liquid water on Mars. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (RED) image (ESP_031059_1685) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site produced by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (University of Arizona). Vertical exaggeration is 1.5. (Photo by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

The dark, narrow streaks flowing downhill on Mars at sites such as this portion of Horowitz Crater are inferred to be formed by seasonal flow of water on modern-day Mars. The streaks are roughly the length of a football field.

The imaging and topographical information in this processed view come from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

These dark features on the slopes are called "recurring slope lineae" or RSL. Planetary scientists using observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer on the same orbiter detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Horowitz Crater, corroborating the hypothesis that the streaks are formed by briny liquid water. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

Recurring slope lineae (RSL) are active flows on warm Martian slopes that might be caused by seeping water. One of the most active sites known on Mars is in the central peaks (uplifted mountains of deep bedrock) of Hale Crater.

This image shows RSL extending downhill from bedrock cliffs, mostly towards the northwest (upper left). This image was acquired in middle summer when RSL are most active in the southern mid latitudes.

The RSL in Hale have an unusually "reddish" color compared to most RSL, perhaps due to oxidized iron compounds, like rust. Since HiRISE color is shifted to infra-red wavelengths, they are actually especially bright the near-infrared just beyond the range of human vision.

(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)
This photo released by NASA shows a view of Mars that was stitched together by images taken by NASA's Viking Orbiter spacecraft. The space agency is planning to send a spacecraft similar to the Curiosity rover to the red planet in 2020. A NASA-appointed team released a report on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 that described the missionâs science goals. (AP Photo/NASA)
This low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle above the "Buckskin" rock target, where the mission collected its seventh drilled sample. (Photo via NASA)
The HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a "fresh" (on a geological scale, though quite old on a human scale) impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars on March 30, 2015. This impact crater appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta. (Photo by NASA)
Seasonal frost commonly forms at middle and high latitudes on Mars, much like winter snow on Earth. However, on Mars most frost is carbon dioxide (dry ice) rather than water ice. This frost appears to cause surface activity, including flows in gullies. (Photo via NASA)
FILE - This photo released by NASA shows a self-portrait taken by the NASA rover Curiosity in Gale Crater on Mars. (AP Photo/NASA)

The image shows part of the Arabia Terra region, which is scattered with craters of varying sizes and ages. The craters in this image, caused by impacts in Mars’ past, all show different degrees of erosion. Some still have defined outer rims and clear features within them, while others are much smoother and featureless, almost seeming to run into one another or merge with their surroundings. 

This color image was taken by Mars Express’s High Resolution Stereo Camera on 19 November 2014, during orbit 13728. The image resolution is about 20 m per pixel.

(Photo by ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

Gale Crater, home to NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, shows a new face in this image made using data from the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The colors come from an image processing method that identifies mineral differences in surface materials and displays them in false colors. (Photo via NASA)
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this closeup image of a light-toned deposit in Aureum Chaos, a 368 kilometer (229 mile) wide area in the eastern part of Valles Marineris, on Jan. 15, 2015, at 2:51 p.m. local Mars time. (Photo via NASA)
This 360-degree panorama from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the surroundings of a site on lower Mount Sharp where the rover spent its 1,000th Martian day, or sol, on Mars, in May 2015. The site is near "Marias Pass." (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This image sent by NASAâs Opportunity rover on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 shows a view from atop a Martian hill. Opportunity will spend several days at the summit making pictures that engineers will stitch into a color panorama. (AP Photo/NASA)
This Martian scene shows contrasting textures and colors of "Hinners Point," at the northern edge of "Marathon Valley," and swirling reddish zones on the valley floor to the left. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)
Mars true-color globe showing Terra Meridiani. (Photo by NASA/Greg Shirah)
Among the many discoveries by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter since the mission was launched on Aug. 12, 2005, are seasonal flows on some steep slopes. (Photo via NASA)
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drilled into this rock target, "Cumberland," during the 279th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (May 19, 2013) and collected a powdered sample of material from the rock's interior. Analysis of the Cumberland sample using laboratory instruments inside Curiosity will check results from "John Klein," the first rock on Mars from which a sample was ever collected and analyzed. The two rocks have similar appearance and lie about nine feet (2.75 meters) apart. (NASA)
MOUNT SHARP, MARS - JANUARY 2015: In this handout provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the 'Mojave' site, where its drill collected the mission's second taste of Mount Sharp. The scene combines dozens of images taken during January 2015 by the MAHLI camera at the end of the rover's robotic arm. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
This low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the site from which it reached down to drill into a rock target called "Buckskin" on lower Mount Sharp. (Photo via NASA)
MOUNT SHARP, MARS - APRIL 10, 2015: In this handout provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS A sweeping panorama combining 33 telephoto images into one Martian vista presents details of several types of terrain visible on Mount Sharp from a location along the route of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The component images were taken by the rover's Mast Camera on April 10, 2015. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
GALE CRATER, MARS - APRIL 10, 2015: In this handout provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover recorded this view of the sun setting at the close of the mission's 956th Martian day, or sol April 15, 2015, from the rover's location in Gale Crater, Mars. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M Univ via Getty Images)
This image provided by NASA shows a view by the Mars Rover Spirit of a sunset over the rim of Gusev Crater, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. Taken from Husband Hill, it looks much like a sunset on Earth, a reminder that other worlds can seem eerily familiar. Sunset and twilight images help scientists to determine how high into the atmosphere the Martian dust extends and to look for dust or ice clouds. Ten years after NASA landed two rovers on Mars on a 90-day mission, one rover is still exploring, and the project has generated hundreds of thousands of images from the Martian surface. Now the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is presenting more than 50 of the best photographs from the two Mars rovers in an art exhibit curated by the scientists who have led the ongoing mission. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Texas A&M/Cornell University)
This mosaic image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS made from photographs taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover looks to the west of the Kimberley waypoint on the rover's route to the base of Mount Sharp. The mountain lies to the left of the scene. Sets of sandstone beds all incline to the south, indicating progressive build-out of sediment toward Mount Sharp. These inclined beds are overlain in the background by horizontally bedded fine-grained sandstones that likely represent river deposits. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Twelve orbits a day provide the Mars Global Surveyor MOC wide angle cameras a global 'snapshot' of weather patterns across the planet. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
This 360-degree panorama from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the surroundings of a site on lower Mount Sharp where the rover spent its 1,000th Martian day, or sol, on Mars. (Photo via NASA)
This photo taken Nov. 13, 2014, provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA and taken by the Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars, shows the lower edge of the pale Pahrump Hills outcrop at the base of Mount Sharp includes wind-sculpted ripples of sand and dust in the middle ground. Some of the most innovative and challenging scientific research in human history is now underway in the Pahrump Hills, but not the ones 60 miles west of Las Vegas. These Pahrump Hills are down the highway another 55 million miles or so, at the base of a mountain in the bottom of a crater on the planet Mars. (AP Photo/JPL-NASA)
This image sent by NASAâs Opportunity rover on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 shows a view from atop a Martian hill. Opportunity will spend several days at the summit making pictures that engineers will stitch into a color panorama. (AP Photo/NASA)
This Aug. 15, 2014, composite image released by NASA and made by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, shows a view looking back toward part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater that the rover drove along, heading southward, during the summer of 2014. NASA announced Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, that the rover has reached the base of Mount Sharp, its long-term science destination since landing two years ago. Officials say drilling could begin as early as next week at an outcrop of rocks called Pahrump Hills. (AP Photo/NASA, JPL-Caltech, Cornell University, Arizona State University)
In this photo taken May 19, 2005, provided by NASA, shows a false color image captured by Mars Exploration Rover Spir. it shows the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. This picture of the western sky was obtained using Pancam's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer color filters. This filter combination allows false color images to be generated that are similar to what a human would see, but with the colors slightly exaggerated. Nearly two years after NASA's twin rovers parachuted to Mars, a Jekyll-and-Hyde picture is emerging about the planet's past and whether it could have supported life. Both Spirit and Opportunity uncovered geologic evidence of a wet past, a sign that ancient Mars may have been hospitable to life. But new findings reveal the Red Planet was also once such a hostile place that the environment may have prevented life from developing. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell)
IN SPACE - SEPTEMBER 2: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, and captured by NASA's Curiosity rover, a rock outcrop called Link pops out from a Martian surface that is elsewhere blanketed by reddish-brown dust, showing evidence for an ancient, flowing stream, September 2, 2012. The fractured Link outcrop has blocks of exposed, clean surfaces. Rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimeters) in size are in a matrix of white material. Many gravel-sized rocks have eroded out of the outcrop onto the surface, particularly in the left portion of the frame. The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock that was formed by the deposition of water and is composed of many smaller rounded rocks cemented together. Water transport is the only process capable of producing the rounded shape of clasts of this size. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
IN SPACE - AUGUST 8: In this handout image provided by NASA and released on August 8, 2012, the four main pieces of hardware that arrived on Mars with NASA's Curiosity rover are spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image about 24 hours after landing. The large, reduced-scale image points out the strewn hardware: the heat shield was the first piece to hit the ground, followed by the back shell attached to the parachute, then the rover itself touched down, and finally, after cables were cut, the sky crane flew away to the northwest and crashed. The relatively dark areas in all four spots are from disturbances of the bright dust on Mars, revealing the darker material below the surface dust. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images)
IN SPACE - AUGUST 5: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The image from Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager illustrates the roughly circular swirls of dust kicked up from the Martian surface by the rocket motor exhaust. At this point, Curiosity is about 70 feet (20 meters) above the surface. This dust cloud was generated when the Curiosity rover was being lowered to the surface while the Sky Crane hovered above. This is the first image of the direct effects of rocket motor plumes on Mars and illustrates the mobility of powder-like dust on the Martian surface. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
A portion of the west rim of Endeavour crater sweeps southward in this false color view from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
WINDJANA, MARS - APRIL/MAY 2015: In this handout composite provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the camera at the end of its arm in April and May 2014 to take dozens of component images combined into this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called 'Windjana.' The camera is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), which previously recorded portraits of Curiosity at two other important sites during the mission. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)
FILE - This composite image provided by NASA shows before and-after images taken by the Opportunity rover. At left is an image of a patch of ground taken on Dec. 26, 2013. At right is in image taken on Jan. 8, 2014 showing a rock shaped like a jelly doughnut that had not been there before. Researchers have determined this now-infamous Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in early January. Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and continues to explore. (AP Photo/NASA)
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