The Bruce Murray Space Image Library
Sighting the home world
Filed under pics of Earth by planetary missions, Hayabusa (MUSES-C), mission status, Earth, the Moon, many worlds
Hayabusa's star tracker shot this photo of the Earth-Moon system on May 12, 2010, within 13.5 million kilometers of its home world. The spacecraft is aimed for a June 13 return of its sample capsule to Earth. The star tracker is designed to photograph stars, so targets as bright as the Moon and Earth are overpoweringly bright. Neither body actually subtends more than one pixel; their apparent size results from their bright points of light spilling over into adjacent pixels. However, the star tracker successfully separates the light of the Moon and Earth, resolving them as distinct points of bright light.
JAXA / ISAS
Here's some more detailed information provided by JAXA about the viewing geometry and background stars in this photo.
ISAS / JAXA
Imaging geometry for Hayabusa's May 12, 2010 photo of Earth
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
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Original image data dated on or about May 12, 2010
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