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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

At last: Some bits of Kaguya video online in reasonable detail

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

15-04-2008 17:24 CDT


I have frequently bemoaned the stingy data release policy of JAXA and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), who have chosen not to show off the full capability of the high-definition camera aboard the Kaguya lunar orbiter; they've been releasing only very low-resolution video to the Internet, and make the full-resolution video available only via DVD to educators who sign a restrictive release form. (I can send you that form if you send me an email.) At last, though, the restrictions appear to be loosening just a tiny bit; they have now released some video to the Web that, if it's not actually at HD resolution, it's at least at the resolution of standard-definition TV sets. The two videos are from the November Earthrise and Earthset releases. They're very beautiful, but short! I want more! The two 30-second videos were released in MPEG-2 format and are about 30-40 MB apiece; Doug Ellison was kind enough to convert them to Quicktime files for me, which are a much happier 2 MB apiece.

Earthrise over the Moon


Earthrise over the Moon
Kaguya captured the blue marble of Earth rising over the Moon's north pole on November 7, 2007. This image is a still from a high-definition movie shot with Kaguya's wide-angle HD camera. A reduced-resolution movie can be downloaded in Quicktime format (2 MB) or MPEG-2 format (32 MB).
To explain the resolution under discussion: the Kaguya HD camera is capable of recording video with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. The videos I am showing you today are at 720 by 400 pixels, about a third of the full resolution. Most of the videos released to date have been at a resolution of no more than 480 by 270, a quarter of the full resolution; and some are even lower, 240 by 135.

JAXA official Shin-ichi Sobue also pointed me to a new website hosted by NHK that seems to promise more video downloads in the future. It's all in Japanese though so I'm not sure what any of the text says.

See other posts from April 2008


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