Nasa's Osiris-Rex aka asteroid hunter has sent back another image of Earth-Moon duo — a rare cosmic shot that shows the two space objects sitting next to each other.
The spacecraft is flying deep in space to survey, map and retrieve samples from asteroid Bennu, a distant "carbon-rich hunk of rock that might contain organic materials or molecular precursors to life".
But as the journey is several months long, every now and then, Osiris-Rex takes out some of its free time to look back and capture the beauty of the universe.
Last month, we saw an Earth-Moon photo captured from a distance of about 5 millionkm and now we have another shot of the pair, taken from even far away.
The stunning image has been captured from a distance of about 64 millionkm and shows a bright Earth in the centre and a dim moon giving it company. Around the pair, are also seen a group of dimly lit stars.
As Nasa says, "the bright cluster of stars in the upper left corner is the Pleiades in the Taurus constellation, while Hamal, the brightest star in Aries [constellation], is located in the upper right corner of the image".
The stunning shot was taken by Osiris-Rex's NavCam1 grayscale imager on 17 January. The spacecraft was travelling at a whopping 19,000 miles per hour when it took the photo.
Though asteroid Bennu is no threat to Earth in the near future, studying the distant rock could give Nasa crucial insights into the evolution of our world and its planetary siblings. Osiris-Rex was launched in 2016 and is expected to reach the distant asteroid in August 2018.
Once the mission is complete, the spacecraft will head back to Earth sometime in 2023, bringing in more data and prolific cosmic shots.