Stunning NASA image of Earth from 40MILLION miles away shows how ALONE we are | Science | News

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A spacecraft which is moving away from our planet at around 19,000 miles per hour turned around to capture a distant photo of Earth.

The spacecraft, known as OSIRIS-REx, which is on an asteroid sampling mission, took the picture of Earth on January 17 as part of an engineering test.

The image, taken from 39.5 million miles away shows the Earth and the Moon surrounded by complete nothingness.

The two celestial bodies appear as if they are stars in the distance and gives a glimpse into the sheer vastness of space.

But there are some stars which can be seen in the very distance of the image.

NASA explains: “Several constellations are also visible in the surrounding space.”

“The bright cluster of stars in the upper left corner is the Pleiades in the Taurus constellation. 

“Hamal, the brightest star in Aries, is located in the upper right corner of the image.

“The Earth-Moon system is centred in the middle of five stars comprising the head of Cetus the Whale.”

The OSIRIS-Rex mission took off from Florida in September, 2016, and is set to reach an asteroid dubbed Bennu later in 2018.

The spacecraft will collect samples from the space rock which is 500 metres in length and could pave the way for an asteroid mining industry, with some meteorites worth trillions of pounds because of their minerals which are scarce on Earth such as platinum.

The mission will also give vital information on how to deflect asteroids from their collision course with Earth.

NASA fears that the asteroid, which has the potential to wipe out a country on Earth, could hit our planet within the next 200 years, with the next close flyby in 2135.

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