On its way to a Jupiter rendezvous in 2016, the Juno spacecraft made a flyby of Earth back in October to get an 8,800 mph gravity boost. It had an array of low-resolution cameras designed to track faint stars running at the time, and together, they put together an extraordinary view of what an approaching spacecraft sees as it enters the Earth-moon system and flies past.
"If Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise said, ‘Take us home, Scotty,’ this is what the crew would see," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio. "In the movie, you ride aboard Juno as it approaches Earth and then soars off into the blackness of space. No previous view of our world has ever captured the heavenly waltz of Earth and moon."
Captain Kirk would probably have asked Mr. Sulu to take them home, but I suppose that's a minor quibble. Watch the flyby in the video below.
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