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Earth and Moon as seen by the MESSENGER Spacecraft

26 Aug 2010, 01:11 UTC
Earth and Moon as seen by the MESSENGER Spacecraft
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In this image the Earth can be seen, as well as the much smaller Moon to Earth's right. When the MESSENGER Spacecraft took this image, a distance of 183 million kilometers (114 million miles) seperated the spacecraft and Earth. To provide context for this distance, the average separation between the Earth and the Sun is about 150 million Kilometers (93 million miles). Though it is a beautiful, thought-provoking picture, viewing our planet from far away was not the main reason that the mission team planned the collection of this image.This image was acquired as part of MESSENGER'S campaign to search for vulcanoids, small rocky objects that have been postulated to exist in orbits between Mercury and the Sun. Click on the post heading for more on this topic.

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