This Photo Showing the Earth and Moon Together Is Totally Bonkers

Image: NASA/OSIRIS-REx team and the University of Arizona

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is currently en route to Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that could contain the basic building blocks of life. Late last year it collected some images to remind us how small and insignificant we really are.

This composite image of three photos was captured by OSIRIS-REx on October 2, 2017, when it the spacecraft was approximately 3 million miles (5 million km) from Earth, which is roughly 13 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The three images were combined and color-corrected, and the Moon was brightened to make it more visible (the Moon is actually a bit darker than it appears).


Back in September 2017, OSIRIS-REx used its NavCam to take a picture of Earth from 69,000 miles (110,000 km) away. If you look carefully at the top right, you can actually see the remnants of hurricanes Maria and Jose.


OSIRIS-REx should reach asteroid Bennu in August of this year, where it should collect some rock samples and begin its return journey home. If all goes according to plan, the probe will return to Earth in 2023.



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George Dvorsky

George is a senior staff reporter at Gizmodo.