This post was originally written on September 1, 2011.
Do you know what this picture is?
It’s the Earth, on the left, and the moon is the little speck on the right. This picture was taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft almost 10 million km away, as it travels to Jupiter.
The Juno spacecraft is cool – it’s solar powered and blasted off in early August on a bit of a jaunt to Jupiter. It travelled the distance from the Earth to the moon (402,000km) in less than a day but it will still take five years and over 2,800 million km to actually get to Jupiter. Apparently you can follow the mission on Twitter, and if they keep taking photos along the way, it could be a beautiful journey.
I was particularly taken by this image. It’s very humbling, I think, to see us as a planet in the context of such vastness. But despite that vast distance we see in the picture, it’s put into even more perspective if you consider that Juno is only travelling through a fraction of our solar system – which is a tiny fragment of our galaxy.
“our galaxy is only one of millions of billions/ in this amazing and expanding universe” <— Thank you, Monty Python for the succinct summary!