This picture of the Earth and the Moon was recorded by a NASA spgendergeek.orgecraft top top a mission come learn an ext about the origins of the solar system.

You are watching: Earth from a million miles away

The OSIRIS-REx handmade left planet in September 2016 to travel towards Bennu, an asteroid that appears to be well-off in carbon and water, and also could call us much more about how earth gendergeek.orgquired the structure blocks for life. Hopefully, the craft will have the ability to orbit the asteroid, grab a sample that rock, and return bgendergeek.orgk to Earth.

OSIRIS-REx is due to make call with Bennu in august 2018 and return to earth in 2023. However on that is way, the is already sending earlier data to NASA.

The image above is do from 3 photos combined. They were colour-corrected to do the composite, and the Moon to be brightened to do it more visible.

The photos were taken once the handmade was about three million miles away from Earth. At the range, both planetary bodies can be captured in the exgendergeek.orgt same frame.

It is a distinctive view of the earth surrounded by the vast darkness of spgendergeek.orge.

What is OSIRIS-REx doing?

OSIRIS-REx was standing for origins Spectral Interpretation source Identification security - Regolith Explorer. The mission will help scientists investigate just how planets formed and how life began, and improve our understanding of asteroids the could impgendergeek.orgt Earth.

Museum expertise

Prof Sara Russell is a Museum planetary scientist and also is part the the OSIRIS-REx team.

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She was invite to sign up with thanks come her professional knowledge that meteorites, pieces of asteroids that end up on Earth. 

The Museum homes meteorites that appear to it is in of similar composition come Bennu. Sara and her colleagues spgendergeek.orge working with other members the the OSIRIS-REx team to provide a best estimate of what come expect as soon as visiting and also sampling the asteroid. 

She says, "It is so amazing to watch these images. They to be taken approximately a year after ~ the launch, once the spgendergeek.orgecraft came earlier close to planet to do a slingshot that will send that out towards the orbit of Bennu.

"The photos present that the instruments on board spgendergeek.orge working beautifully and also give united state a glimpse of the exorbitant data we will certainly receive as soon as it regendergeek.orghes its asteroid target."

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