Earth Again — Look At Me Shine

The image of our planet was captured by the Parker Solar Probe’s WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument on Sept. 25. The funny pea pod shape at bottom is a reflection inside the camera caused by the overly bright glare of the Earth. NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

Wow, what a cool view. That’s Earth with the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters, the very same clusters we see on fall nights from our backyards. On occasion, you’ll catch Jupiter, Mars or another planet pass by these groups but Earth? Only from the perspective of a spacecraft. This time, it’s the recently launched Parker Solar Probe en route to searingly close study of the sun

A close-up of Earth from Sept. 25 shows what appears to be a bulge on our planet’s right side — this is the Moon. NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

In the zoomed-in photo (right) Earth reveals a slight bulge on the right side. It’s none other than the Moon, just peeking out from behind the planet. At the time the image was taken, the probe was about 27 million miles (43 million km) from Earth. I enjoy these spacecraft perspectives because they remind us of our little planet’s place among all the stars and planets of the galaxy. There we are.

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