Press Release

KAGUYA (SELENE) HDTV Image of Full Earth-Rise Over The Moon

By SpaceRef Editor
April 22, 2008
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KAGUYA (SELENE) HDTV Image of Full Earth-Rise Over The Moon

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) successfully captured a movie of the “Full Earth-Rise”*1 using the onboard High Definition Television (HDTV) of the lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE) on April 6, 2008 (Japan Standard Time, JST, all the following dates and time are JST.) The KAGUYA is currently flying in the lunar observation orbit at an altitude of about 100 km.

An “Earth-rise,” or the rising Earth over the Moon, was first captured by the Apollo project. The Earth rising movie taken by the KAGUYA on November 7, 2007, was not a full Earth-rise (i.e. not all of the globe was seen in shining blue.) It missed some part. This time, a “full Earth-rise”*1 was taken by the onboard HDTV in faraway space, some 380,000 km away from the Earth. This is the world’s first successful shooting of such a Full Earth-Rise. It was also very precious because it was one of only two chances in a year for the KAGUYA to capture a Full Earth-Rise when the orbits of the Moon, the Earth, the Sun and the KAGUYA are all lined up.

The shooting was performed by the KAGUYA’s onboard HDTV for space use, which was developed by NHK. The movie data was received at JAXA, then processed by NHK.

*1 The phenomenon expressed as a “Full Earth-Rise” can be seen from a satellite that travels around the Moon such as the KAGUYA (SELENE) or the Apollo manned spacecraft. The Earth is almost stationary when it is observed from the Moon, thus a Full Earth-Rise coming out from the horizon cannot be seen from the Moon.

Photo 1: Full Earth-rise taken by HDTV (Tele camera)

Photo 2: Full Earth Rising taken by HDTV

Figure 1: Timing of taking the Full Earth-Rise image

Figure 2: Position of HDTV


Table 1: List of images taken by the HDTV since December 25, 2008

Table 2: Major Characteristics of the HDTV

Mission website:

SELenological and ENgineering Explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE)


SpaceRef staff editor.