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Posts Tagged ‘earth’

Taken from this Jaxa.jp:

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully performed the world’s first high-definition image taking of an Earth-rise* by the lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE,) which was injected into a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 km on October 18, 2007 (Japan Standard Time. Following times and dates are all JST.)

The Apollo project was the first mission to take images of Earth rising over the Moon. The KAGUYA successfully shot high-definition images of the Earth-rise showing an impressive image of the blue Earth which was the only floating object in pitch-dark space. These are the world’s first high-definition earth images taken from about 380,000 km away from the earth in space.

The image taking was performed by the KAGUYA’s onboard high definition television (HDTV) for space use developed by NHK. The moving image data acquired by the KAGUYA was received at the JAXA Usuda Deep Space Center, and processed by NHK.

The satellite was confirmed to be in good health through telemetry data received at the Usuda station.

Click here to find out more! (Pictures included)

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350px-PaleBlueDot

We live in a pioneering age, when the very idea of the final frontier is no longer a distant wish but something that we will physically begin to explore in the lifetime of the child just born a few moments ago. It’s a shame that I will not live long enough to see where we take it.

I have always been fascinated with space, not simply because of the untold possibilities it holds but also because of the emptiness. It is infinite, at least as far as the human mind can conceive, and yet we put such limitations on it in order to quantify it so it makes sense to us. The idea that you can get lost, truly lost, in that great expanse is a source of… inspiration. One wrong push… and you are gone… forever. The finality of it is intriguing.

I realize that sounds a bit morbid. I understand that and I don’t shy from it. Perhaps it is depressing to think of the finality of space, the idea of being completely gone with no way to ever come back, completely lost with no way to ever find your way home, as a source of inspiration, but it can help mold your humanity as well. It can make you a better person when you begin to realize just how small we truly are and how important treating each other and our planet with respect really is.

I haven’t had a chance to read it but I heard that the book “Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan really puts some things about our world into perspective. I’ve seen the photo that inspired the book and I can see how it would do that. This planet is all we have. All. We. Have. If we were destroyed right now, whether by killing each other or the Sun deciding that it wanted to go super nova right this second, there is nowhere we could go and no one that could help us. No one. We would be gone and all of our cultures, our art, our politics, religions, languages, conflicts, and worries would be gone with it. We are meaningless. This is the most sobering thought I’ve had in a long time…

This is why space excites me and why being in this pioneering age is both a source of elation and frustration. My grandchildren will one day go into that great beyond and see things I only dream of. They may one day see Saturn’s rings… they may one day know what our own galaxy truly holds within its core. I, on the other hand, will not. I will only see pictures. I will only dream. It will always be my final frontier.

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