An absolutely breathtaking image of our Earth from the moon is making the rounds.
One of the most incredible photos ever of our Earth is getting some attention today, and the way the snapped the photo if pretty amazing.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been hard at work mapping the Moon since it started orbiting it back in 2009, and recently it was able to take a photo that is really something else, according to a Slate.com report.
Usually, its cameras are staring straight down at the surface of the Moon, but on this occasion they were able to rotate them to point at the horizon in order to measure the Moon’s atmosphere or take calibration measurements — this time, the LRO got the entire Earth in the background.
The picture was taken on October 12th while the orbiter was over the crater Compton on the far side of the moon. It was about 134 kilometers above the surface of the moon.
It’s actually not just one image, but rather a combination of shots by LRO, since the higher resolution camera takes grayscale while the wide angle takes color, so NASA had to do a little bit of work to combine and process the images.
It’s a pretty accurate representation of what you would see had you been aboard the LRO at that moment, so it’s definitely not an unrealistic image even if it did require a little editing.
The LRO mission is actually to lay the groundwork for future human and robotic missions to the Moon, and to that end it is mapping the Moon in order to help identify safe landing sites and also potential resources. The very first images were published back on July 2, 2009, a couple weeks after it was launched. The cost of the mission is $583 million.