On December 3, 2015, Hayabusa2 drew near the Earth, ready to use the planet's gravity to adjust its orbital course towards Asteroid Ryugu (Earth swing-by). Just before the spacecraft's closest approach, its onboard Wide angle Optical Navigation Camera (ONC-W2) snapped a few photographs of our planet. Figure 1 shows six different pictures taken of the Earth side-by-side. In Figure 2, the images are combined as an animation that shows Hayabusa2's Earth approach.
When the first image in Figure 1 was taken (at 09:00 JST), the distance to the centre of the Earth was 200,000 km. By the last image (at 17:45 JST), the distance was just 36,000 km. A simulated image of the Earth corresponding to the photograph at 17:45 JST, is shown in Figure 3. The central region shows the Arabian Peninsula. The images from ONC-W2 itself are always in black and white.
※ ONC-W2 was developed by JAXA, The University of Tokyo, Chiba Institute of Technology, Rikkyo University, Meiji University, Nagoya University, The University of Aizu, and Kochi University.