NASA’s Asteroid Probe Takes Painful Images of Earth and Moon

The Lucy spacecraft captured this image of Earth on October 15.

The Lucy spacecraft captured this image of Earth on October 15.
picture: NASA

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft got its first view Earth and Moon System One A year after he blasted off from his home planet to explore a distant swarm of asteroids. The spacecraft captured beautiful and somewhat shocking images of Earth and its natural satellite as it passed past in search of gravity help.

The Lucy spacecraft He is currently on a six-year trip to Jupiter to study the Trojan asteroids, the two groups of rocky bodies that guide and track Jupiter as it orbits the Sun.

as part of a file Complex a tripLucy flew to Earth on October 15th for The first three gravity assist maneuvers To put the spacecraft on a new path outside the orbit of Mars. During her flyby, Lucy took some pictures of Earth and the Moon to calibrate the spacecraft’s instruments. NASA chest Pictures this week—And they are really cool, if not chills-incitement. On top of that, it’s a quick preview of the spacecraft’s capabilities and the types of views to expect from Trojan asteroids.

Photo of the article titled NASA's Asteroid Probe Takes Painful Pictures of Earth and Moon

picture: NASA

The first photo was taken on October 13, when Lucy was 890,000 miles (1.4 million km) from Earth. The spacecraft was still making its way toward our planet for close flyby and was able to capture the Earth-Moon system in the same frame.

The moon can be seen very faintly along the way The left side of the image is separated from the host planet by about 238,900 miles (384,400 km). This view of the distant pair challenges our perception of the moon we see in our night sky, which appears relatively close to us. Instead, the image reveals how far the Moon really is from Earth, and the eerie darkness of space in between.

Photo of the article titled NASA's Asteroid Probe Takes Painful Pictures of Earth and Moon

picture: NASA

When Lucy approached Earth, she caught this close-up view of the planet on October 15 at a distance of 385 .000 miles (620000 km). This view of the land shows Hadar, Ethiopia –The place of origin of the 3.2 million-year-old hominid fossil for which the spacecraft is named.

Lucy’s fossils have provided valuable insights into human evolution, in the same way that Trojan asteroids can help scientists piece together the story of the origins of the early solar system and how it evolved over time.

Photo of the article titled NASA's Asteroid Probe Takes Painful Pictures of Earth and Moon

picture: NASA

nearly eight After hours of passing by Earth, Lucy got comfortably with the moon. The spacecraft took this close-up image of the moon’s surface on October 16 at a distance of about 140,000 miles (230,000 km) from the surface.

Picture taken with Lucy LORRI (Lucy LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager) grayscale hd camera, It was put together by combining ten of two separate Millisecond exposures of the same frame to increase its quality with each pixelel represents about 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometres).

Photo of the article titled NASA's Asteroid Probe Takes Painful Pictures of Earth and Moon

picture: NASA

This moon mosaic was created from five separate millisecond exposures, with each pixel representing about 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometres). The top area of ​​the picture was taken earlier than the bottomresulting in an inconsistent display of this lunar region. The image was taken about eight hours after Lucy’s flyby of Earth, when the spacecraft was about 140,000 miles (230,000 km) from the moon.

Photo of the article titled NASA's Asteroid Probe Takes Painful Pictures of Earth and Moon

picture: NASA

In another close-up of the moon, Lucy noticed the side of the moon’s surface most familiar to us on Earth. The spacecraft has been captured flying between Earth and the Moon Mare Imbrium lava-filled impact basin. The lower right area of ​​the image shows Apennine mElentin rangeThe landing site for the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.

After Lucy said goodbye to Earth, her new path set her on a two-year orbit around the Sun. In two years, Lucy will be back on Earth for another gravity assist. From there, the spacecraft will still have about three years before it reaches its first target, the asteroid DonaldJohansson. Later in August 2027, Lucy will begin her tour of the Trojans by visiting Eurybates and her duo partner Queta, followed by Polymele and her duo partner Leucus and Orus and the duo partner Patroclus and Menoetius.

more: Astronomers hunt shadows from Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids

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