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Watch From Space As the Moon Orbits Around Earth

The Earth and the Moon, as seen from 600,000 miles away

What you're looking at is a video of the Moon, in orbit around the Earth, as seen by a satellite that's flying 87,000 miles per hour on its way to Jupiter. Science!

Back in October, NASA's Juno satellite whipped past the Earth, using our planet's gravitational pull as a slingshot to boost it up to speed for its long journey to the outer solar system. As Juno sailed by, its cameras captured this rare scene, a far-off look at the celestial dance shared by the Earth and the Moon.

This is not the first time we've watched from afar as Moon passed by Earth.

Back in 2008, the Deep Impact spacecraft, fresh off its main mission to smash into a comet, turned its camera back towards Earth to capture this, a gorgeous view of the Moon transiting in front of our planet.

Astronomer Phil Plait's enthusiasm back in 2008 holds just as true for the new look offered by Juno, too.

Take a look at that, folks. It’s us, seen from 50 million kilometers away. I’ve seen many images of the Earth and Moon together as taken by distant spacecraft, but this, seeing them in motion, really brings home — if I may use that highly ironic term — just where we are: a planetary system, an astronomical body, a blue orb hanging in space orbited by a desolate moon. This is a view that is literally impossible from the ground. Only a spacefaring race gets the privilege of this view from a height.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Eclipses Look Even More Gorgeous From Outer Space
A Solar Eclipse, As Seen From the Surface of Mars

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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