OSIRIS-REx Sees Home

The NAVCAM aboard the OSIRIS=REx spacecraft took this image on 19 December 2018 and it is looking at Aseroid Bennu and the Earth and Moon. Can you spot them? Click the image for a much larger version and that might help. You can get the full image here – and it’s not so large that even a slow connection will take a long time.

There is also part of a constellation in the lower right, take a guess at that too before reading the caption which is below the fold. I am pleased to say I got it, but only because of dumb-luck, still. . .

Thanks to: NASA, Goddard, University of Arizona, and Lockheed Martin Space for the image.

Here’s the caption: On Dec. 19, OSIRIS-REx used its NavCam 1 camera to capture this image of three familiar planetary bodies: asteroid Bennu, Earth, and the moon. Despite the spacecraft’s distance from home – about 71 million miles (114 million kilometers) – Earth and the Moon are visible in the lower left due to the long exposure time used for this image (five seconds). The spacecraft’s range to Bennu is only about 27 miles (43 kilometers), so the asteroid appears highly overexposed in the upper right. The head of the constellation Hydra is also visible in the lower right portion of the image.

NavCam 1 is a black-and-white imager that is one of three cameras comprising TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System), which is part of OSIRIS-REx’s guidance, navigation, and control system. TAGCAMS was designed, built and tested by Malin Space Science Systems; Lockheed Martin Space integrated TAGCAMS to the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and operates TAGCAMS.

Date Taken: Dec. 19, 2018

Instrument Used: TAGCAMS (NavCam 1)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin Space

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