What Earth Looks Like From 160 Million Kilometres Away

Although we've seen plenty of our beautiful blue marble from space before, here's what Earth looks like from 160 million kilometres away. That's a little more than the distance from the Earth to the sun.

The image, which was captured by Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory B (STEREO-B), shows comet PanSTARRS and Earth last month. At this point of the image, PanSTARRS was about .3 astronomical units from the sun and about 1.1 AU from Earth (AU is roughly 150 million kilometres, the distance from Earth to the sun). NASA says:

The HI [Heliospheric Imager] instrument observes the area just off the limb of the Sun (left) in order to detect the faintly visible light of the solar wind and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as they blow out into the solar system. STEREO-B was on the far side of the Sun from the Earth, at about a 150 to 160 degree angle from the Earth-Sun line. Puffs of solar wind and from a CME are visible in a video made from the same images in March.

You can see video of the comet here. Nice to live on this small bright dot of a planet. [NASA via Discover]