PASADENA, Calif. – On its way to the biggest planet in the solar system-- Jupiter, NASA's Juno spacecraft took time to capture its home planetand its natural satellite -- the moon.
"This is a remarkable sight people get to see all too rarely," saidScott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest ResearchInstitute in San Antonio. "This view of our planet shows how Earthlooks from the outside, illustrating a special perspective of our roleand place in the universe. We see a humbling yet beautiful view ofourselves."
The image was taken by the spacecraft's camera, JunoCam, on Aug. 26when the spacecraft was about 6 million miles (9.66 million kilometers)away. The image was taken as part of the mission team's checkout of theJuno spacecraft. The team is conducting its initial detailed checks onthe spacecraft's instruments and subsystems after its launch on Aug. 5.
Juno covered the distance from Earth to the moon (about 250,000miles or 402,000 kilometers) in less than one day's time. It will takethe spacecraft another five years and 1,740 million miles (2,800million kilometers) to complete the journey to Jupiter. The spacecraftwill orbit the planet's poles 33 times and use its eight scienceinstruments to probe beneath the gas giant's obscuring cloud cover tolearn more about its origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere,and look for a potential solid planetary core.
The solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted off from Cape CanaveralAir Force Station in Florida at 9:25 a.m. PDT (12:25 p.m. EDT) on Aug.5 to begin its five-year journey to Jupiter.]
Full link with larger picture: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-271&cid=release_2011-271&msource=11271&tr=y&auid=9405191
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