Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) spacecraft memorialized last week’s brief swing by Earth with a nice photo of its home planet.
On Friday (Sept. 22), OSIRIS-REx zoomed 10,711 miles (17,237 kilometers) above Antarctica, near the southern tip of South America, at a breakneck speed of 19,000 mph (31,000 km/h) using Earth’s gravity. The probe took the newly released photo a few hours after that closest approach when it was about 106,000 miles (170,000 km) from Earth, NASA officials said.
“The dark vertical streaks at the top of the image are caused by short exposure times (less than three milliseconds).” NASA officials Explained.