What NASA's Spacecraft captured From 380,000 Miles will leave you wondering



From a faraway spaceship, Earth appears as a black and white marble against the night.


While traveling to Jupiter's old Trojan asteroids, NASA's Lucy spacecraft took the opportunity to record some moving images of Earth. The pictures, which NASA released on Tuesday, serve as a reminder of how isolated our world is.


Our planet's marble is depicted with speckled clouds in a stark black-and-white photograph taken on October 15 against the dark background of space. From a distance of 380,000 miles, Lucy took a picture of the scene (620,000 kilometers). A vista of Hadar, Ethiopia, the location of the 3.2 million-year-old human progenitor fossil for which the spacecraft was named, can be seen in the upper left of the image, according to a statement from NASA.


The Earth image was captured by Lucy's Terminal Tracking Camera (T2CAM) system during an instrument calibration process. The ultimate goal of the camera system is to assist the spaceship in tracking the asteroids it will encounter.


NASA released a second picture of Earth and the moon on October 13 as seen by Lucy at a distance of 890,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers). As they confront one another across a black barrier, the Earth and the moon appear little.


In contrast to the dark background, the Earth appears as a larger marble on the right and the moon as a little gray dot on the left.

The moon on the left might require close inspection to be seen. In the picture taken by the Lucy spacecraft, Earth is easier to see on the right.


NASA/Goddard/SwRI

The pictures were taken as Lucy approached Earth for the first of three scheduled gravity assistance, which was a critical point in its journey. According to NASA, "these Earth flybys provide Lucy the speed necessary to approach the Trojan asteroids—small rocks that orbit the sun at a distance equal to Jupiter.


Lucy intends to stick with this. Its primary mission is expected to last 12 years and it is scheduled to launch in late 2021. NASA compares the asteroids it will examine to fossils that can be used by scientists to learn more about how the solar system formed.


A visual love letter to our world, a watery little jewel suspended in the vastness of space, may be seen in Lucy's photos.

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