Friday, November 16, 2007

Photos: From the moon to the Earth in HD

The Japan Space Agency's (JAXA's) Kaguya spacecraft re-created one of the most memorable photos from space--an Earth-rise from lunar orbit. But this one was taken for the first time with a high-definition camera.

JAXA's spacecraft is currently orbiting the moon and its equipment is being tested in preparation for its real mission to map the moon with high-definition images later this month. Two satellites carried by Kaguya, including one that will eventually land on the moon, have already been launched into lunar orbit to help the lunar mapping project.

NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, developed HDTV for use in space. Click here to see a video of the Earth-rise and Earth-set from the JAXA project site.


On Christmas Eve 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell awed the world when they transmitted the first images of Earth rising over the moon while the two read passages from the Bible.

Apollo 8

The high-definition shadows on the moon make these Earth-set photos almost look like cartoons. Technically, there is no such thing as an Earth-rise or Earth-set from the moon. Since the moon's rotation matches the Earth's rotation of the sun, the Earth will always appear to be in the same spot if seen by an astronaut standing on the moon. The Earth-rise or Earth-set can only be seen by a moving object--in this case a spacecraft orbiting the moon.


Here is a series of images showing the Earth setting.

The Earth is setting

Below, center of this image shows "Repsold," a crater that is about 66 miles.

Oceanus Procellarum

The dark area on the right is the western side of the "Oceanus Procellarum" while the lighter area is called the "Highlands."

Oceanus Procellarum

The Kaguya spacecraft is not the newest piece of hardware at the moon. China's Chang'e 1 spacecraft was launched on October 24 for its mission to study the lunar environment and pave the way for future Chang'e missions.

In addition, Russia and India on Monday signed an agreement to launch an unmanned spacecraft into lunar orbit.

Chang'e 1

This image of the moon's surface was taken from Apollo 8 in 1968.

Apollo 8 image

The center of this image shows "Repsold," a crater that is about 66 miles wide. The channel that crosses this crater is called the "Repsold Valley."

Repsold Valley

This is a prelaunch photo of the HD camera that's being used by the Kaguya spacecraft.

HD camera

You Like this pics or not??? How you feel looking at this pics?? Please give your valuable comments on this.

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