NASA’s Lucy spacecraft takes its first image Earth-Moon system He One year after launching from its home planet to explore a distant asteroid swarm. The spacecraft captured beautiful and somewhat frightening images of Earth and its natural satellite as it sped past for a while. gravitational help.
this Lucy’s spaceship He is currently on a six-year voyage to Jupiter to study the Trojan asteroids, two groups of rocky bodies that rule and follow Jupiter as it orbits the Sun.
as part of it corrugated tripLucy flew past Earth on October 15. first of three gravity assist maneuvers puts the spacecraft into a new orbit beyond the orbit of Mars. During the flight, Lucy took several photos of the Earth and Moon to calibrate the spacecraft’s instruments. NASA released this week’s images—and they’re really great, even if I don’t get a little goosebumps-stimulus What’s more, it’s a sneak preview of the spacecraft’s capabilities and the kinds of appearances you can expect from Trojan asteroids.
The first image was taken on October 13, when Lucy was 890,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers) from Earth. The spacecraft was still making its way towards our planet for close flight and was able to capture the Earth-Moon system in the same frame.
Very faintly visible throughout the moon the left side of the image is separated by about 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers) from the host planet. This image of the distant couple challenges our perception of the Moon in the night sky, which appears relatively close to us. Instead, the image reveals how far the Moon really is from Earth and the eerie darkness of the space between them.
As Lucy approached Earth, she caught this close-up view of the planet from 385 on October 15.1,000 miles (620.000 kilometers). This view of Earth shows Hadar, Ethiopia—The origin of the 3.2-million-year-old hominid fossil that gave the spacecraft its name.
The Lucy fossils have provided valuable information about human evolution, just as Trojan asteroids can help scientists piece together the early solar system’s origin story and how it evolved over time.
roughly eight hours after flying Earth, Lucy relaxed with the moon. The spacecraft captured this close-up view of the lunar surface about 140,000 miles (230,000 km) from the surface on October 16.
image taken, with Lucy’s L’LORRI (Lucy LONG Range Recon Viewer) high resolution grayscale camera, brought together by combining the two separate millisecond exposures of the same frame in each pixel to improve qualityhand represents approximately 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers).
This mosaic of the Moon was created from five separate millisecond exposures, with each pixel representing approximately 1.2 kilometers. The top area of the picture was taken earlier than the bottom.This has caused the lunar region to look incongruous. The image was taken about eight hours after Lucy passed by Earth, while the spacecraft was about 140,000 miles (230,000 km) from the Moon.
In another close-up view of the Moon, Lucy observed the side of the Moon’s surface most familiar to us on Earth. Spacecraft flying between Earth and Moon captured The lava-filled impact basin Mare Imbrium. The lower right area of the image shows the Apennine m.range–The landing site of the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.
After Lucy said goodbye to Earth, her new orbit put her in a two-year orbit around the Sun. In two years, Lucy will return to Earth for another gravitational assist. From there, the spacecraft has about three more years to reach its first target, the asteroid Donaldjohanson. In August 2027, Lucy will begin her tour of Troy by visiting Eurybates and her duo partner Queta, followed by Polymele and duo partner Leucus, Orus and duo double Patroclus and Menoetius.
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