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
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.