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Jupiter-Bound Spacecraft Sees Earth and Moon from Afar

Enlarge Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech MORE IMAGES

Earth [left] and the moon [right] may look like distant specks in this photograph from the Juno spacecraft, but Juno had only just begun its long trek from Earth to Jupiter when it was taken.

A camera on the NASA probe snapped this shot August 26, just three weeks into Juno's five-year cruise to the solar system's largest planet. Juno was nearly 10 million kilometers from Earth at the time. (For a sense of scale, the Earth–moon distance is about 380,000 kilometers.) Once it arrives at its destination, Juno is designed to orbit Jupiter for a year, investigating the planet's inner structure and gathering more clues to how such giant worlds form.

Juno is not the first spacecraft to catch a glimpse of its home planet and the moon from afar. Decades of space exploration have produced several dramatic views of Earth from throughout the solar system.

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