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10 Views of Earth from the Moon, Mars and Beyond [Slide Show]

For more than 40 years, missions throughout the solar system have sent back stunning images of our home planet

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EARTHRISE:

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon in July 1969 , they became the first humans to view Earth from the surface of another celestial body. This image, taken during the Apollo 11 mission, shows what Armstrong and Aldrin's home planet, some 400,000 kilometers away, must have looked like.....[ More ]

JUST PASSING THROUGH:

For sheer, high-detailed beauty, nothing beats an up-close view. NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, bound for Mercury, took this snapshot at a distance of 100,000 kilometers from Earth during a 2005 flyby of our planet.....[ More ]

SPYING ON THE NEIGHBORS:

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, perhaps best known for its high-resolution 2- and 3-D maps of the Red Planet's surface , looked instead to the sky to take this 2007 image of Earth and the moon. The photograph is a filtered composite—the clouds on Earth were so bright in the original data as to drown out the dimmer moon.....[ More ]

PALE BLUE DOT:

As the Voyager 1 spacecraft roamed ever deeper into the solar system, astronomer Carl Sagan thought it would be worthwhile to have the NASA probe take a look back at Earth before the planet receded completely from view.....[ More ]

INDIA JOINS THE MOON CLUB:

The Indian Space Research Organization scored a major coup in 2008 with the launch and successful insertion into lunar orbit of Chandrayaan 1, the nation's first moon mission. The unmanned mission ended prematurely in August of this year when controllers lost contact with the spacecraft, but not before Chandrayaan 1 had accomplished many of its scientific goals and provided a few surprises.....[ More ]

SPIRIT IN THE SKY:

One morning in 2004, just before sunrise on Mars, the Spirit rover caught sight of the planet where its human controllers live and work. According to NASA, this mosaic of images from Spirit's navigation camera is the first view of Earth, a white dot in the center of the panorama, from the surface of another planet.....[ More ]

MAGNIFICO, GALILEO:

The Galileo spacecraft took this photograph of Earth and the moon in 1992, three years after its launch and just over a week after a near-Earth flyby. The portrait of the Earth-moon system is a composite of visible and near-infrared images.....[ More ]

DWARFED BY A GIANT:

The Cassini spacecraft, currently exploring the Saturnian system, caught a glimpse of Earth in 2006 at a distance of about 1.5 billion kilometers. The planet is visible as a bright dot above and to the left of Saturn's main rings.....[ More ]

AT FIRST SIGHT:

NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 took this photograph, the first of Earth as seen from the vicinity of the moon , in 1966. The five unmanned Lunar Orbiter missions mapped the vast majority of the moon's surface and scouted locations for the forthcoming Apollo missions.....[ More ]

CRESCENT EARTH:

Rosetta, a European Space Agency mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, launched in 2004 on a 10-year voyage to its cometary rendezvous. Its route to the comet includes four planetary swing-bys—three of Earth and one of Mars—for gravitational trajectory assists.....[ More ]

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