Sometimes we are too concentrated on reaching the stars to appreciate what we have right here under our feet. But then again, if we weren't reaching for the stars, we would never realise this. Zoom in for high definition version.
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So simple, that little blue thing. So lost in the blackness of the Void of Nothingness.
This unique perspective of Earth was taken by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on board Rosetta, from 633,000km on 13 November 2009 at 6.28am (AEDT). The image — which form by three exposures under orange, green and blue filters — shows the South Pole at a resolution of 12km per pixel.
Rosetta is coming back home for the last time, to take the impulse necessary to reach the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. When it reaches it in 2014, Rosetta will first study the comet flying alongside, then it will attempt to set its mechanic feet on it. For that, it will use the Philae lander that it carries along its decade-long trip around the Solar System.
Philae will drill holes into the comet to study its nucleus in search of life's building blocks, and it will land on firing two harpoons to avoid bouncing off its surface. That will be when Captain Ahab — the mission controller back on Earth — laughs like a maniac and Starbuck shakes his head in despair. [ESA]