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Emily LakdawallaJuly 17, 2008

Show this movie to your "non-spacy" friends

The Deep Impact extended mission, EPOXI, just released an amazing movie (Quicktime format, 1 MB) of the Moon transiting Earth, taken from 50 million kilometers away (or very roughly 150 times the distance from Earth to the Moon). You see Earth spinning away, and then from the left of the frame the Moon comes in to view and flies across Earth's disk. This movie makes obvious the albedo difference between Earth and the Moon -- the surfaces of both worlds have similar colors, but Earth is covered about 50% by highly reflective clouds, which makes it way brighter.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of looking at Earth from space. All the worlds of our solar system are fascinating, but our own planet has a unique beauty that nothing else in the solar system can match.

The Earth and Moon, from Deep Impact

NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD/GSFC

The Earth and Moon, from Deep Impact
This image of the Earth and Moon was taken by Deep Impact on May 29, 2008 from a distance of 49,367,340 kilometers (30,675,43 miles). The image was taken with three filters -- blue, green, and orange. It is one frame from a long movie, which you can download here (Quicktime format, 1 MB).

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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