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Clip Reveals Moon Transiting Earth from 31 Million Miles Away


This clip is pretty mind-blowing. Earth has been photographed by the Deep Impact spacecraft and the images have been woven together by NASA to create a clip that shows the Earth as seen from deep space as the moon orbits it.

Said University of Maryland astronomer Michael A’Hearn, principal investigator for the Deep Impact extended mission, called EPOXI: "Making a video of Earth from so far away helps the search for other life-bearing planets in the Universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would appear to us."

Here's an explanation of the clip: "During a full Earth rotation, images obtained by Deep Impact at a 15-minute cadence have been combined to make a color video. During the video, the moon enters the frame (because of its orbital motion) and transits Earth, then leaves the frame. Other spacecraft have imaged Earth and the moon from space, but Deep Impact is the first to show a transit of Earth with enough detail to see large craters on the moon and oceans and continents on Earth. 'To image Earth in a similar fashion, an alien civilization would need technology far beyond what Earthlings can even dream of building,' said Sara Seager, a planetary theorist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., and a co-investigator on EPOXI."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

NASA says that this will help them process the observations of worlds in other galaxies: "'Nevertheless, planet-characterizing space telescopes under study by NASA would be able to observe an Earth twin as a single point of light -- a point whose total brightness changes with time as different land masses and oceans rotate in and out of view. The video will help us connect a varying point of planetary light with underlying oceans, continents, and clouds -- and finding oceans on extrasolar planets means identifying potentially habitable worlds.' said Seager."

Previous space porn...
Binary Asteroid in Earth Fly-By [tr]
Mars Phoenix Lander Finds Ice? [tr]
Mars Orbiter Photographs Phoenix Mars Lander in Descent [tr]
Third Red Spot Erupts on Jupiter [tr]
Reconnaissance Orbiter Photographs Avalanche on Mars [tr]

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  1. What a beautiful blue sphere. Too bad we don't take care of it.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jul 18, 2008 10:47:24 AM

  2. That's kind of freaky.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 18, 2008 10:47:54 AM

  3. That is so cool, we have to keep reminding ourselves that we are but a small planet in the scale of the cosmos.

    Posted by: davefromtampa | Jul 18, 2008 10:49:36 AM

  4. Ah home sweet home!


    or perhaps even dimension:

    Posted by: Rafael | Jul 18, 2008 11:08:18 AM

  5. i never realized our moon was so big.

    Posted by: voodoolock | Jul 18, 2008 11:12:37 AM

  6. OOh pretty!!!! What a beautiful sight!

    Posted by: Zo | Jul 18, 2008 12:09:49 PM

  7. So is the image clear enough to confirm or deny the existence of the man face that's susposedly on the other side of the moon? Because I've heard rumors that there is one similar to the one found on Mars.

    Posted by: Garst | Jul 18, 2008 1:06:41 PM

  8. That is genuinely amazing.

    Posted by: Humbled | Jul 18, 2008 2:37:32 PM

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