Feel small? I do, after seeing this image. After blasting off to Jupiter on August 5, 2011, and traveling only 6 million miles (9.66 million kilometers) on its five-year journey, the Juno spacecraft turned and captured this image of our Earth (left) and moon (right, very faint).
After leaving Earth, the solar-powered Juno spacecraft covered the same distance as from Earth to the moon (about 250,000 miles or 402,000 kilometers) in less than one day’s time. It acquired this image on August 26, as part of a routine check of the craft’s instruments.
It will take the Juno spacecraft another five years and 1,740 million miles (2,800 million kilometers) to complete the journey to Jupiter.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.