This is the Web Edition of "A Trip Into Space", a Coimbra-based electronic book on space science. Both the texts and the photos are by courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The Earth And Moon From Galileo

This image was taken by Galileo as it flew by the Earth-Moon system in 1990.

Eight days after its encounter with the Earth, the Galileo spacecraft was able to look back and capture this remarkable view of the Moon in orbit about the Earth, taken from a distance of about 6.2 million kilometers (3.9 million miles), on December 16. The picture was constructed from images taken through the violet, red, and 1.0-micron infrared filters. The Moon is in the foreground, moving from left to right. The brightly-colored Earth contrasts strongly with the Moon, which reflects only about one-third as much sunlight as Earth. Contrast and color have been computer-enhanced for both objects to improve visibility.

Antarctica is visible through clouds (bottom). The Moon's far side is seen; the shadowy indentation in the dawn terminator is the south-Pole/Aitken Basin, one of the largest and oldest lunar impact features, extensively studied from Galileo during the first Earth flyby in December 1990.

The Galileo project, whose primary mission is the exploration of the Jupiter system in 1995-97, is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Last Update: 2005-Nov-29