Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2024 January 24
The Moon and the Earth are pictured before a black background.
The Moon appears brown and slightly larger due to its closer 
proximity to the Artemis 1 camera. The Earth is seen as a cloudy
blue orb above the Moon.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Earth and Moon from Beyond
Image Credit: NASA, Artemis I; Processing: Andy Saunders

Explanation: What do the Earth and Moon look like from beyond the Moon? Although frequently photographed together, the familiar duo was captured with this unusual perspective in late 2022 by the robotic Orion spacecraft of NASA's Artemis I mission as it looped around Earth's most massive satellite and looked back toward its home world. Since our Earth is about four times the diameter of the Moon, the satellite’s seemingly large size was caused by the capsule being closer to the smaller body. Artemis II, the next launch in NASA’s Artemis series, is currently scheduled to take people around the Moon in 2025, while Artemis III is planned to return humans to lunar surface in late 2026. Last week, JAXA's robotic SLIM spacecraft, launched from Japan, landed on the Moon and released two hopping rovers.

Explore Your Universe: Random APOD Generator
Tomorrow's picture: sky map

< | Archive | Submissions | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Amber Straughn; Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.