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An alien’s eye view of the Earth

July 21, 2008
“The Deep Impact spacecraft recorded the video, which shows the moon passing in front of the Earth, from more than 31 million miles away.”

clipped from www.telegraph.co.uk

NASA image of the Earth from 31 million miles away

A Nasa spacecraft has taken the most detailed video footage yet of how the Earth would look to alien species, providing scientists with an insight into how they might be able to spot other planets that may be supporting life.

  • NASA video: Lunar transit of Earth
  • The Deep Impact spacecraft recorded the video, which shows the moon passing in front of the Earth, from more than 31 million miles away.


    The images provide enough detail to see large craters on the
    moon along with the continents on the Earth behind. Michael A’Hearn, principal
    investigator for the Deep Impact extended mission, said: ““Making a video of
    Earth from so far away helps the search for other live-bearing planets in the
    Universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would
    appear to us.”


    A “sun glint” can also be seen in the movie – caused by the
    light reflected from the Earth’s ocean.

    “Our video shows some specific features that are important for observations of
    Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.
    One Comment leave one →
    1. September 4, 2008 2:26 pm

      This may be a stupid question, but why does the Earth still look so big at that distance? I had always thought that, from the surface of the moon, it looked quite small.

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