Earth Departure Movie
The Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft captured several stunning images of Earth during a gravity assist swingby of its home planet on Aug. 2, 2005. Several hundred images, taken with the wide-angle camera in MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), were sequenced into a movie documenting the view from MESSENGER as it departed Earth.
Comprising 358 frames taken over 24 hours, the movie
follows Earth through one complete rotation. The spacecraft was
40,761 miles (65,598 kilometers) above South America when the camera started
rolling on Aug. 2. It was 270,847 miles (435,885 kilometers) away from Earth - farther
than the Moon's orbit - when it snapped the last image on Aug. 3.
Earth rotation (4.90 MB) or Earth rotation with date and time (5.78 MB).
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.