Spacecraft circling asteroids grabs cool photo of home


CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. – A spacecraft circling an asteroid has captured a cool picture of your home.

NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture days before it orbited around the asteroid Bennu on New Year's Eve.

The tiny asteroid – with only a third of the 500-meter diameter – appears as a large bright spot in the long-exposure photo released last week. At 110 million kilometers away, the Earth appears as a white dot, with the moon one point still smaller, but still clearly visible.

Osiris-Rex is the first spacecraft to orbit a celestial body so small and from such a distance – about 1,600 meters away.

Next year, Osiris-Rex will try to collect some samples of the carbon-rich asteroid to return to Earth in 2023.

Osiris-Rex was released from Florida in 2016.


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