All the planets gather together for a family portrait

NASA's Messenger probe is currently orbiting close around the Sun in preparation for its mission to Mercury. While making its lonely orbit, Messenger snapped this amazing photo that shows all the planets (plus our Moon) in one big family photo.

Up top you can see the left half of the photo, which includes Venus, Earth and the Moon, Jupiter, and Uranus and Neptune. Those last two planets are too faint to be actually visible in the photo, but we know that's where they are right now. Below, you can see the right half of the photo, which includes Mars, Mercury, and Saturn. It's the first time we've ever snapped a photo of all eight planets (sorry Pluto) from the Sun's vantage point, although Voyager 1 got the reverse of this photo from the edge of the solar system back in 1990.

All the planets gather together for a family portrait

From this sort of distance, the planets don't look like much more than points of light - a necessary trade-off to get all eight planets in one image. Check NASA's original story for the full image of all eight planets together.