NASA Captures a Unique View of Earthrise from the Moon

Friday, 18 December 2015 - 2:50PM
Space
Earth
Space Imagery
Friday, 18 December 2015 - 2:50PM
NASA Captures a Unique View of Earthrise from the Moon
You would think we would get tired of looking at Earth, since we live here, but we never do. NASA just released a stunning image of the "Earthrise" from the Moon, captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

NASA's LOR Earthrise

In the image, a composite created from a series taken by the LOR camera on October 12, Earth can be seen rising over the Moon's horizon from the perspective of the LOR. The pictures were taken from approximately 83 miles above the surface.

The center of the Earth is just off the coast of Liberia, evoking the famous "Blue Marble" image taken by Apollo 17 astronauts, which also prominently featured Africa. The large tan section is the Sahara Desert, while the coast of South America can be seen on the left. The bottom half of the picture is located on the far side of the Moon, right around the Compton crater.

Opening quote
"From the Earth, the daily moonrise and moonset are always inspiring moments," LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson said in a statement. "However, lunar astronauts will see something very different: viewed from the lunar surface, the Earth never rises or sets. Since the moon is tidally locked, Earth is always in the same spot above the horizon, varying only a small amount with the slight wobble of the moon. The Earth may not move across the 'sky', but the view is not static. Future astronauts will see the continents rotate in and out of view and the ever-changing pattern of clouds will always catch one's eye, at least on the nearside. The Earth is never visible from the farside; imagine a sky with no Earth or moon - what will farside explorers think with no Earth overhead?"
Closing quote


Arguably the most iconic photo of an Earthrise was taken by Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve, 1968. That night, NASA astronauts had a live broadcast in which they showed pictures of the Earth and the moon from space. Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell famously said:

Opening quote
"The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth."
Closing quote
Science
NASA
Space
Earth
Space Imagery

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