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Japanese Spacecraft Captures Incredible Picture Of Earth And The Moon In 'Pale Blue Dot' Moment

03/12/2015 11:08 GMT | Updated 03/12/2015 11:59 GMT

hayabusa 2

Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 has captured what could be one of the best images of Earth seen in recent years.

The spacecraft was able to take the picture as it redirected its trajectory to head towards its destination, Ryugu, a 1-kilometer wide C-type asteroid.

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On the right you can clearly see the Earth, floating in the blackness of space accompanied only by a smaller grey object on the left - the moon.

The stunning picture isn't the sharpest we've ever seen, nor is it the most visually impressive, but what it does do is give us something rare and that's a picture of our own planet from something that's looking back.

hayabusa 2

So many pictures of Earth are taken while in stable orbit, or even from the moon. This rare image shows us what hopefully astronauts will eventually see, and that's the Earth from beyond our comfort zone.

Hayabusa 2 might be keeping us happy with life-affirming images but that's not the end goal of the craft at all. When it arrives at Ryugu it'll launch a small swarm of landers and robots to bombard the asteroid, sample it and analyse every aspect of its composition.

For now though, enjoy this stunning image of Earth from nearly 3 million kilometres away.