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  Earth snapped by Mars Express spacecraft
Updated 20 July 2003, 14.01
Picture of Earth and its moon, taken from the Mars Express spacecraft
This amazing picture of the Earth and its moon was taken by Europe's Mars Express spacecraft on its way to the Red Planet.

The spacecraft was 8 million kilometres (5 million miles) away from Earth when the snap was taken using a high tech camera.

Scientists are very excited about the picture.

Mars Express prepares for take-off

It has proved that the camera is really good at capturing colour and 3D images.

When the spacecraft reaches Mars, it will be able to orbit the planet at a distance of around 300km (186 miles) from the surface.

The picture of the Earth and moon was taken much further away than that, but you can still see the blue of the Pacific Ocean and white clouds.

Spectacular

The scientists are hoping the Mars pictures will be much more spectacular.

Mars Express is due to arrive at the Red Planet in December.

It's carrying the British-made Beagle 2 lander, which will test for signs of life on Mars.

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