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There’s no place like home…

I love Mars, as you all know – and if you didn’t know that, wow, where have you been?!?!? đŸ™‚ – and I often refer to it, only half-jokingly, as “my real home planet”. I love its volcanoes, its canyons and craters with a passion. I see an image of it taken by an orbiter, a space telescope or even just an amateur telescope and I literally let out a sigh, I find it so beautiful. I love Mars.

But then I see an image like this, and I know that, just like Dorothy said,  there’s no place like home

osiris_color_2009-11-12T12_28UTC_rot_north

Officially, technically, scientifically, that’s an image of Earth taken by the OSIRIS camera onboard the European Space Agency probe “ROSETTA”, which is flying past Earth for the third and final time during  its long journey to rendezvous with a comet – Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko – in 2014. It was taken at around 1.30pm earlier today, from a distance of some 633,000km.

But none of that matters, does it? Not really. That’s a portrait of Home. That’s Where We Live. That’s our lush, sopping wet, sweet-aired green, blue and white oasis shining like a christmas tree ornament, like a beacon of light and life, in the vast, black, unforgiving desert that is space. There may be a thousand, a million, even a billion worlds that look like it “Out There”, and in the centuries and millennia to come voyagers from Earth will travel to, land on and raise families, civilisations and empires upon them, but there will never, ever be another planet that will ever come close to having the heart-stopping beauty of Earth.

Click here to find out more about the image – and see more stunning images of Earth as they come in from ROSETTA…

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