On November 26, a Japanese spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and the moon from 1.9 million miles away, just drifting through the inky black void of space:

earth moon space jaxa hayabusaJAXA/Hayabusa

When you think about the scale of the universe, it's hard to imagine that most of it is made of empty space. Photos like this one help give us some context.

The moon is roughly 239,000 miles away. The closest planet, Venus, is 25 million miles away. Pluto is a staggering 3 billion miles away. And that's just our tiny solar system.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 captured this image on its journey to the asteroid Ryugu. The spacecraft is expected to rendezvous with the asteroid in 2018.

When it arrives, the probe will take pictures and samples, then return to Earth by 2020:

hayabusa2 spacecraft asteroid jaxaJAXAArtist's concept of Hayabusa 2 approaching asteroid Ryugu.

Scientists think that asteroids may have carried the necessary ingredients for life to Earth long ago when the solar system was first forming. So the Hayabusa 2 mission could help us figure out how life evolved on Earth.