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.
- Five Unimpressive Images From Space (And Why They're Actually Amazing)
- Nasa To Photograph Earth From Saturn: Cassini Probe Readies Lens From 898 Million Miles
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW TECH
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more
- Earth From Saturn Picture By Nasa's Cassini Spacecraft Will Blow Your Mind
- Searches for Alien Life Are Worth the Gamble, Even If the Odds Are Against Us
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.
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.