Earth

Sometimes we are too busy concentrating on reaching the stars to appreciate what we have here, under our feet. Then again, if we weren't reaching for the stars, we would never realize this photo. Zoom in for the HD version.

Click on the image to see the high resolution

So simple, that little blue thing. So lost in the blackness of the Void of Nothingness.

This unique perspective of Earth was taken by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on board Rosetta, from 393,327 miles (633,000 kilometers) on 12 November 2009 at 13:28 CET. The image—which form by three exposures under orange, green, and blue filters—shows the South Pole at a resolution of 12 kilometer per pixel.

Rosetta is coming back home for the last time, to take the impulse necessary to reach the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. When it reaches it in 2014, Rosetta will first study the comment flying alongside, then it will attempt to set its mechanic feet on it. For that it will use the Philae lander that it carries along its decade-long trip around the Solar System.

Philae will drill holes into the comet to study its nucleus in search for life's building blocks, and it will land on firing two harpoons to avoid bouncing off its surface. That's will be when Captain Ahab—the mission controller back in Earth—laughs like a maniac, and Starbuck shakes his head in despair. [ESA]