NASA's iconic Parker Solar Probe is on its way to touching the sun. On September 25, 2018, the spaceship looked back and caught a breathtaking view of the earth. The image was taken with the Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR), the only imaging instrument installed on the Parker Solar Probe.
The earth appears as the bright, round object on the right side of the image, while a slight curvature of the earth indicates the presence of the moon. Cluster Pleiades and two bright objects, Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, are also visible in the lower left corner of the right image and lower left image, respectively. By the time the picture was taken, Parker Solar Probe was about 27 million miles from Earth.
Launched in August 201
Parker Solar Probe will travel closer to the sun than any other spaceship in history. Over the next seven years, Parker Probe will use the gravity of Venus and spin seven times around the planet to bring the spacecraft closer and closer to the Sun.
With 27 million miles Parker also broke the record for the next encounter with Sun, which was set up in 1976 by a NASA spacecraft. The probe will reach 15 million miles from the Sun's atmosphere in November and will eventually fly as close as possible 3.8 million miles from the Sun's surface.