Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NASA's Juno Gives Starship-Like View of Earth Flyby

NASA's Juno Gives Starship-Like View of Earth Flyby | NASA

"When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 3.9 kilometers per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. One of Juno's sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar.

'If Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise said, ‘Take us home, Scotty,’ this is what the crew would see,' said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio. ‘In the movie, you ride aboard Juno as it approaches Earth and then soars off into the blackness of space. No previous view of our world has ever captured the heavenly waltz of Earth and moon.'"

Note, this is from a spacecraft near earth. Look at how faint everything is. Looking for this exact thing, the moon passing in front of the earth, which dims it slightly, is one of the techniques we use to find stars around other planets.

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