Most Amazing Earthrise Ever, from LRO

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter almost never captures the Earth.  After all, NASA has spent a lot of money to put it around the Moon to take pictures of that, and plus, it’s built as a mapping satellite.  It’s designed to excel at scanning the terrain below it.  Taking a picture of an object in the distance is not its strong suit.  But with some planning, it can be done.  And holy wow, is it worth the effort.  Combining image data from the Narrow Angle Camera and color data from the Wide Angle Camera, this spectacular composite image shows the Earth rising over Compton Crater, a farside crater near the lunar limb.  What’s really cool is seeing the silhouette of mountains still in shadow against the colorful disk of the Earth.

Feast your eyes, for this is us, from the Moon, on October 12 of 2015.  (It’s taken this long to assemble the best possible quality image from all the data LRO returned.)  It doesn’t look real.  It looks CGI.  But in fact it is completely real.

earth_and_limb_m1199291564l_color_2stretch_mask_0

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