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The Farthest-away Pictures of Earth Ever Taken

Accepted submission by upstart at 2023-04-22 17:48:53
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The farthest-away pictures of Earth ever taken [mashable.com]:

NASA's exploration robots have rumbled around Mars [mashable.com], swooped around Saturn [mashable.com], and flown well beyond the planets(opens in a new tab) [nasa.gov], into interstellar space.

But the space agency's engineers often direct their machines to peer back at the vivid blue dot in the distance.

"During almost every mission we turn around and take a picture back home," NASA [mashable.com]'s former chief historian, Bill Barry, told Mashable [mashable.com]. "There seems to be an irresistible tendency to look back at home."

"During almost every mission we turn around and take a picture back home."

Indeed, in the cosmic images below you'll glimpse some of the farthest-away views of our humble, ocean-blanketed world [mashable.com] ever captured by humanity. When we view other objects, worlds, stars, or even galaxies [mashable.com], we often see just dots. But to most of the cosmos, we're just a dot in the vast ether [mashable.com], too.

SEE ALSO: The first images of Earth are chilling [mashable.com]Earth and the moon floating in space Earth in the top left, and the moon in the lower right.

From 804,000 miles away, we can still see Earth in its true, marbled form, and even spy the shadowed moon, too.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft [mashable.com] — which traveled to the rubbly asteroid Bennu to successfully capture a sample — snapped this image en route to its deeper space [mashable.com] destination. In this black and white photo, Earth and the moon are about a quarter million miles apart. Unlike most space exploration robots, OSIRIS-REx will return back home to drop its precious asteroid sample(opens in a new tab) [nasa.gov] into Earth's atmosphere; from there the sample will plummet to the surface.

A dot in the Martian sky Earth seen above Mars' horizon.

NASA's Spirit rover, which explored the Martian surface for six years and found evidence of a once watery planet, snapped this historic image in 2004.

"This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon," wrote NASA(opens in a new tab) [nasa.gov].

You can see the rolling Martian hills below, and a relatively faint Earth high in Mars' atmosphere.

Here on Earth, with the unaided eye, Mars [mashable.com] looks like a bright red dot in the sky to us Earthlings.

Zooming past Earth

En route to Jupiter [mashable.com] in 2013, NASA's Juno spacecraft [mashable.com] swung around Earth to pick up speed, a strategy known as a gravity assist. Meanwhile, a camera aboard the craft captured views of Juno approaching Earth and the moon, beginning from 600,000 miles away.

"The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory wrote.

By 2016, Juno arrived at the "King of the Planets," hundreds of millions of miles beyond Earth.

The vista from glorious Saturn Earth as viewed from the Cassini spacecraft.

In 2013, NASA's Cassini spacecraft snapped an exceptional view of our vivid blue planet beyond Saturn's glorious rings [mashable.com].

"At a distance of just under 900 million miles, Earth shines bright among the many stars in the sky, distinguished by its bluish tint," NASA writes.


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