Let This Stunning Full Moon Photo from Space Inspire You to Look Up Tonight

Gerst full moon
The full moon as seen from the International Space Station, in an image shared by astronaut Alexander Gerst on Aug. 25, 2018. (Image credit: ESA/NASA-A. Gerst)

One of the beautiful things about the full moon is that the days before and after are almost as stunning — so if you needed a little reminder to go enjoy yesterday's full moon, it's not too late.

And astronaut Alexander Gerst makes a pretty compelling case for getting outside and looking up, with a photo he took from his current home on the International Space Station and shared on Twitter on Saturday (Aug. 25). [Full Moon Calendar 2018]

A full moon rises by Cassis castle in France on Aug. 25, 2018. (Image credit: Joel Goodman/LNP/Shutterstock)

The planet remains quite a sight, less than a month after it was at opposition and made its closest approach to Earth. Mars will continue to shine brighter than any stars into late September; right now, it still even outshines Jupiter.The image shows a brilliant full moon gleaming over a dreamy view of Earth's atmosphere — and in the upper right corner, there's a tiny pinprick of light, all that the photograph can capture of Mars.

The Aug. 25, 2018, full moon sets over Qolsärif mosque in Russia. (Image credit: Yegor Aleyev/TASS/Getty)

This month's full moon peaked early in the morning of Sunday (Aug. 26); the next full moon will occur on Sept. 24 at 10:53 p.m. EDT (Sept. 25 at 0253 GMT). After the current full moon begins to wane, near the end of this week, it will again be relatively easy to see all the planets in one night.

But Gerst doesn't frame his image in the context of skywatching; as an explorer, he's focused on the potential of the moon and Mars as destinations for human spaceflight missions. His image comes just a few days after Vice President Mike Pence reiterated NASA's plan to return to the moon and land humans on Mars, in a speech on Aug. 23.

The full moon rises over Chula Vista, California, on Aug. 25, 2018. (Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty)

Whether you see the moon and Mars as destinations or as beautiful sights, the photos are stunning.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.comor follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at Space.com and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.