This is Earth and the Moon from 40 Million Miles Away

That’s here; that’s home; that’s us—the two bright objects in this picture are Earth and the Moon, imaged by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on January 17, 2018 from a distance of 39.5 million miles (63.5 million km).

This is about the distance between Earth and Mars at their closest points to each other (give or take about 6 million miles) or about 165 times farther away from us than the Moon.

OSIRIS-REx acquired the image as a test of its greyscale NavCam1 imager. When the image was taken the spacecraft was moving away from Earth at a speed of 19,000 mph (30,577 km/h).

This is a big difference from the last time O-REx imaged Earth—here’s how we looked on Oct. 2, 2017 from “only” 3.2 million miles (5.12 million km)!

Earth and Moon imaged by OSIRIS-REx on Oct. 2, 2017. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

OSIRIS-REx launched from Cape Canaveral on Sept. 8, 2016 aboard an Atlas V rocket. It will arrive at asteroid Bennu in August 2018 and will spend three years surveying and sampling the surface of Bennu before returning to Earth in September 2023 to drop off its sample.

Learn more and see the full-frame version of this image here.

Advertisements