Earth as an Alien World

Nasa’s Deep Impact mission has been redirected since it “successfully reached out and touched comet Tempel 1″ in July 2005. Now called Epoxi, its largest telescope had been intending to search for alien (exosolar) planets until a problem triggered the spacecraft’s safe mode. Epoxi is now heading for a second cometary interception with a fly-by of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. In the meantime it has been looking back wistfully at Earth and capturing these images of a lunar transit of a small blue planet from 31 million miles away.

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  • joeCanuck

    Pete,

    Truly awesome. Keep bringing us these, please.

  • Pete Baker

    Cheers Joe.

  • smcgiff

    Funny, didn’t realise the moon was that small.

    Great aspect.

  • The Raven

    The passage of the moon… Incredible.

    Thanks, Pete.

  • Greenflag

    Pete , thanks for bringing us all back to Earth however momentarily . That Earth image looks about the same size visually of the Moon as seen from the Earth . I guess the image is zoomed up for purposes of the video ?.

    raven ,

    ‘The passage of the moon… Incredible.’

    In a billion years time at the rate of it’s present recedence from the grip of Earth’s gravitational pull our Luna will no longer help control our Earthly periodic planetary ‘wobbles’ or ‘gyrations’ nor our tidal ebbs and flows .

    I better stop at this point or I’ll have JC a nervous wreck with worry and prempt a mass evacuation from seaside residents 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks guys.

    Gf

    “That Earth image looks about the same size visually of the Moon as seen from the Earth . I guess the image is zoomed up for purposes of the video ?.”

    I’m not sure I get the point of your observation. The image of the Earth in the sequence seems entirely appropriate for the size of the frame.

    But I guess you missed this from the JPL statement linked above – and again here.

    “Deep Impact is the first to show a transit of Earth with enough detail to see large craters on the moon and oceans and continents on Earth.”

    That is, to show the power of the telescope. ;op

  • joeCanuck

    heheheh, Greenflag.