Earth and Moon Seen by Passing NASA Spacecraft
This movie sequence of images was captured by a star tracker camera on NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft. It was taken over several days as Juno approached Earth for a close flyby that would send the spacecraft onward to the giant planet. Although grainy and over-exposed, the images provide a nonetheless remarkable and uncommon view from a human-made craft approaching our world from deep space.
The movie begins at 2:00 UTC on Oct. 6, more than four days before Juno's closest approach, when the spacecraft was approximately 2.1 million miles (3.3 million kilometers) from Earth. Earth's moon is seen transiting in front of our planet.
During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno zoomed toward Earth about twice as fast as a typical satellite while the spacecraft itself was spinning at two revolutions per minute. To put together a movie that wouldn't make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to be programmed to capture a frame each time the spacecraft was facing Earth at exactly the right angle. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format.
Music Courtesy: Vangelis (used with permission). Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/DTU #jpl #earth #moon #space #video
On this date in history, Dec. 7, 1972, the Apollo 17 crew snap this iconic "blue marble" photograph of the Earth. This is the original caption: View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is the Malagasy Republic. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast.
The mission was the final in a series of three J-type missions planned for the Apollo Program. These J-type missions can be distinguished from previous G- and H-series missions by extended hardware capability, larger scientific payload capacity and by the use of the battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV.
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Sunlit Edge of Saturn's Largest Moon, Titan: The sunlit edge of Titan's south polar vortex stands out distinctly against the darkness of the moon's unilluminated hazy atmosphere. The Cassini spacecraft images of the vortex led scientists to conclude that its clouds form at a much higher altitude -- where sunlight can still reach -- than the surrounding haze.
Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) is Saturn's largest moon. This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is up and rotated 32 degrees to the left. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2013 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 808,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 82 degrees. Image scale is 5 miles (8 kilometers) per pixel.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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NASA salutes our country's veterans this Veteran's Day. Seen here is John Young, astronaut and Navy veteran, saluting the U.S. flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, jumps up from the lunar surface as astronaut and Air Force veteran, Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture.
The Lunar Module (LM) "Orion" is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle is parked beside the LM. The object behind Young in the shade of the LM is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. Stone Mountain dominates the background in this lunar scene.
Image Credit: NASA, Charles M. Duke Jr.
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