Rare view of Earth rising on the Moon taken by lunar orbiter

NASA has released a wonderful—and rare, they say—view of an earthrise in the Moon taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, with the Earth appearing over the Rozhdestvenskiy crater. There's a GIF of this event in motion.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) experiences 12 "earthrises" every day, however LROC (short for LRO Camera) is almost always busy imaging the lunar surface so only rarely does an opportunity arise such that LROC can capture a view of Earth. On Feb. 1, 2014, LRO pitched forward while approaching the moon's north pole allowing the LROC Wide Angle Camera to capture Earth rising above Rozhdestvenskiy crater (112 miles, or 180 km, in diameter).

Rare view of Earth rising on the Moon taken by lunar orbiter

Why is there banding, you ask? NASA explains:

In the animaiton, the "venetian blind" banding demonstrates how a WAC image is built up frame-by-frame. The gaps between the frames are due to the real separation of the WAC filters on the CCD. The longest wavelength (689 nm) band is at the bottom of the scene, and the shortest (415 nm) is at the top; note how Earth is brighter when it enters the top band due to the blue from the ocean. The frames were acquired at two second intervals, so the total time to collect the sequence was five minutes. The video is about 20 times faster than reality.

We should just take an HD camera up there with a good glass and broadcast a Moon channel 24/7. I'd pay for that.


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