NASA spacecraft captures images of Earth from millions of miles away
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two interplanetary NASA aircraft captured images of Earth and its moon from millions of miles away in space.
The Cassini spacecraft captured color photos of Earth from its perch in the Saturn system, nearly 900 miles away.
It was the first time Cassini's highest resolution camera captured Earth and its moon as two distinct objects.
It was also the first time people on Earth had advanced notice that their planet's portrait was being taken from space.
Also, NASA's MESSENGER took a black-and-white image of the Earth and its moon from a distance of 61 million miles.
Pictures of Earth from the outer solar system are rare because from that distance, Earth appears very close to the sun. A camera's detectors can be damaged by looking directly at the sun, just as the human eye can sustain damage by doing the same.
According to NASA, Cassini was able to take this image because the sun had temporarily moved behind Saturn from the spacecraft's point of view and most of the light was blocked.
nasa, national news
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