NASA has released a stunning new high-resolution ‘Earthrise’ image captured by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
The splendid composite image shows the Earth appearing to rise over the moon’s horizon.
“The image is simply stunning,” said Noah Petro, Deputy Project Scientist for LRO at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “The image of the Earth evokes the famous ‘Blue Marble’ image taken by Astronaut Harrison Schmitt during Apollo 17, 43 years ago, which also showed Africa prominently in the picture
The LRO was launched in 2009 and has collected a vast amount of data on the moon which will be invaluable for any lunar colonies in the future.
The spacecraft experiences 12 earthrises a day but its camera is usually busy taking images of the lunar surface.
Only rarely when it’s pointing out towards space to capture a view of the thin lunar atmosphere does it occasionally capture a view of Earth.
NASA captured its very first Earthrise in 1966, using the Lunar Orbiter 1 spacecraft.
However, its most famous photo of the event was snapped on Christmas Eve 1968 by Apollo 8 astronaut Williams Anders.
Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University