India's first interplanetary space probe is on its way to Mars, but before it headed out into deep space, it took a snapshot of the place where it was born — along with lots of other places on Earth.
This Nov. 19 picture from the Mars Orbiter Mission, also known as Mangalyaan, serves as a timely kickoff for our Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar, which highlights views of Earth from space. Every day, from now until Christmas, there'll be a fresh look at our planet. The online tradition is a spin-off from the classic Advent calendar, which lets kids open a door for each day on the calendar from Dec. 1 to 25 — and find a treat inside. For more holiday goodies, check out Zooniverse's Advent calendar, the Galileo's Pendulum Science Advent Calendar and our Month in Space slideshow for November.
Still more goodies from space:
- 2012 Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar
- 2011 Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar
- 2010 Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar
Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the NBC News Science Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with NBCNews.com's stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.