Earth and Moon – from 5.945702e-06 Pc


You are here: Incredible photo of the ‘twin star’ that is the Earth and Moon taken from 114 million miles away

By Daily Mail Reporter

It is an image that should put us firmly in our place.

Set against the inky blackness of space our Earth can be seen with the smaller Moon orbiting around it from a distance of around 114 million miles.

Taken by Nasa’s Messenger deep space probe the incredible image illustrates how insignificant we really are.

Earth can be seen at a distance of around 114million miles in an  image taken by Nasa's Messenger spacecraftEarth can be seen at a distance of around 114million miles in an image taken by Nasa’s Messenger spacecraft

A beautiful, thought-provoking picture, this image was actually taken as part of Messenger’s mission to search for vulcanoids, small rocky objects that scientists believe exist in orbits between Mercury and the Sun.

No vulcanoids have yet been detected, the Messenger spacecraft is in a unique position to look for smaller and fainter objects than have ever before been possible.

Messenger searches for vulcanoids when the spacecraft’s orbit brings it closest to the Sun.

It follows a path through the inner solar system, including one flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three flybys of Mercury.

Messenger and is using gravity from Earth and Venus to slightly alter its orbit over time before it moves into Mercury’s orbit in March 2011.

A graphic which shows Messenger's elliptical orbit relative to the  Earth, Sun and MercuryA graphic which shows Messenger’s elliptical orbit relative to the Earth, Sun and Mercury. Messenger uses gravity from the flybys to propel itself closer to an orbit with Mercury next year

An image from the space craft Cassini of the Earth and moon just  visible as a tiny dot through Saturn's ringsAn image from the space craft Cassini of the Earth and moon just visible as a tiny dot through Saturn’s rings taken in 2006

A view of the Earth and Moon pictured by Europe's Mars Express  spacecraft on its way to the Red Planet from a distance of 8 million  kilometres in 2003A view of the Earth and Moon pictured by Europe’s Mars Express spacecraft on its way to the Red Planet from a distance of 8 million kilometres in 2003

A 1969 Nasa photo that shows the lunar module, with Neil Armstrong  and Edwin Aldrin, as it approaches the Apollo 11 command module for a  rendezvous with the Earth in the backgroundA 1969 Nasa photo that shows the lunar module, with Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, as it approaches the Apollo 11 command module for a rendezvous with the Earth in the background

A Japanese space agency picture of the Earth as it rises from  behind the MoonA Japanese space agency picture of the Earth as it rises from behind the Moon

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