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JAXA Captured Stunning HD Footage of the Moon's Surface, Earth Rise

Oct 13, 2016 10:07 AM EDT

Ever since man took that giant leap to the moon, the human race has always been fascinated by the Earth's sole satellite. And for the first time, high resolution and close-up images of the surface of the moon and fascinating Earth-rise footages were released to the public courtesy of Japan's space agency (JAXA).

At first glance, people may think that they are watching a high definition movie or a scene from a virtual reality game. But in fact, the images are actual footage of the surface of the moon. Japan's Kaguya spacecraft captured the images in October 2008. The Kaguya spacecraft used its onboard 2.2-megapixel HDTV sensors to record the stunning events in space. The images produced by the camera sensors are among the first HD footage of the moon and the Earth from afar.

The spacecraft orbited the moon from the period of 2007 to 2009 as part of Japan Space Agency's (JAXA) Selenological and Engineering (SELENE) mission. Aside from collecting science-rich data, the mission also brought back a ton of stunning images of the Earth's satellite, according to Gizmodo.

JAXA only publicly released all the images from the mission this week, thus the overwhelming response from enthusiasts worldwide. "This website provides all still images in the movies taken by SELENE (Kaguya) High Definition Television System, Kaguya HDTV, for educational and scientific purposes," a JAXA official said in the official archive where all the images from the mission can be downloaded.

 Aside from a comprehensive collection of images of the surface of the moon, JAXA was also able to capture the most stunning Earth-rises ever to be filmed. "As the moon has no atmosphere, the outline of the slowly rising Earth is clearly visible," A JAXA official said in the video. "The contrast of the surface of the moon against the moon is very impressive," the official added. The videos of Earth rise taken by the Kaguya spacecraft are some of the most stunning footage ever taken of the Earth from afar.

JAXA gave permission to the public to use the images for educational and scientific purposes regulated by the terms and conditions stipulated in the agency's official website.


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