February 4, 1998
Explanation: This is how Earth appeared to the passing spacecraft NEAR. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft was launched from Florida, USA, planet Earth in 1996. After a quick flyby of asteroid Mathilde in June last year, NEAR passed the Earth two weeks ago on its way to asteroid 433 Eros. Visible on the above representative-colour picture is the western part of Earth's Southern Hemisphere. Prominent features include the white snow-covered Antarctica and swirling and extended cloud systems. Oceans appear blue and part of South America is visible on the right.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.