Feeds

back to article Outbound space probe looks back at tiny Earth and Moon

NASA's space probe Juno, outward bound for Jupiter, has sent pack a pic of the Earth-Moon system from 6 million miles away. The Earth and Moon, seen from the Juno spacecraft 6 million miles out. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech I can see the pub from here According to NASA, Juno was further away than the Moon within a day of being …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Boffin

The earth doesn't look very round in that picture

Why is that?

0
0
Paris Hilton

Re: The earth doesn't look very round in that picture

Because half of it is in shade.

4
0
Boffin

Duh.

Same reason the moon only looks round once a month?

1
0

Because it's not round

The earth is an oblate spheroid.

That, and the shading/shadows already mentioned.

1
1

Not round?

Drat. You caught us, it was all done on a soundstage in New Mexico but we messed up the lighting.

Love, NASA

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Well,

As you know, the Earth is a flat disk, so if you take off on a rocket away from the disk on an angle toward Jupiter (which, as any educated person knows, orbits the Earth), the Earth will not appear perfectly round as you're viewing it from an angle.

3
0
Boffin

Why solar

What I don't know (and can't be arsed to find out quite frankly) is why NASA chose to limit the mission to solar power. What advantages does it hold? Considering the incredible expense and time it takes to put together a mission I would have thought they would want to wring every last drop of usefulness out of the probe.

Enquiring, yet lazy, minds want to know...

1
1
Silver badge
Flame

They wanted to use a radioisotope generator

But the 'security' bods wouldn't let it in into departures...

0
0

why not

If it meets the needs of the mission then why not. The payload is to operate at a 2% duty cycle (from the article) so you can spend all that off time charging the batteries or caps or whatever. I would guess that the solar array is lighter than a nuke power plant and probably cheaper too.

0
0
Silver badge

Two reasons

In part it's a technology demonstrator that solar power can be used for deep space missions with low pier requirements, but in part it's been forced on the US by a lack of Pu-238 to go into radio thermal generators. The US has very limited supplies of the isotope which have to be shared between NASA and the military, and in recent years the US has been buying supplies from Russia. The US is ramping up production again, so this might only be a temporary bottleneck.

0
0
Silver badge

put in perspective...

So, it doesn't really matter how badly we pollute our earth, does it?

(Down votes are very welcome!)

2
5
Silver badge
Unhappy

Only

to us lifeforms stuck to the surface. The rest of the whole universe won't even notice.

9
1

Too true

What tends to get forgotten in all the climate change debates is that climate change almost certainly won't destroy the planet, it *might* make it uninhabitable for *us* and a fair chunk of other "higher" lifeforms, but if we're wiped out by it then the planet and something like 90% of life will continue on quite happily - probably much more happily than it is at the moment.

Still, it'll finally put the Apple vs Android vs Samsung debates into perspective.

8
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Thumb Down

Yeah, but...

...whatever evolves to take our place will never have a chance to progress to the point of having their own industrial revolution, because we squandered all the fossil resources on Top Gear and eating strawberries in winter.

Still, happy days, right?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

They're here ..

and just need fish and to play playfully..

1
0
Alien

well come to the universe

you have seen the big picture we are nothing in the vastness of space, just a little blue dot, and not even that when you get further out.

so all our worries are nothing in the vastness of the universe so all chill out.

1
0
Silver badge
Megaphone

@chrOm4t1c:Too true

Yes, I think we should talk less about endangering 'the Earth' and more about endangering 'our civilisation's ability to continue'. Would drive the point in a bit better, considering average human self-centered-ness.

Of course the emphasis is on 'civilisation'. Even with catastrophic climate change there is a good chance a small portion of homosapiens would hang on at a subscistence level for hundreds of thousands of years. May even get back up to steam-power, but can't progress as all the readily accessible high-calorie fuels and 'rare' metals are long-since extracted and you can't get the rest without the boost that the easy stuff gave us.

So it very likely we have only once chance in the span of our species and if we blow it, many millions of years for the next opportunity (by which time homo sapiens is very unlikely to still be around, so some other species will be doing it by then).

3
0
Pint

Snowy!!!!!!

Snooooowwwyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

2
0
Bronze badge
Coat

From a distance...

Planet Earth is white and ... erm... there's nothing I can... bite?

3
0

"Planet Earth is white,

so let's cover it in shite" ?

4
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

"Attention Seeking Behaviour"

"Attention Seeking Behaviour"

Why do you want people to notice that you worked out he is referring to Major Tom?

0
0
Coat

We don' need no steekin' title!

Waiting for the "FAKE" calls as there are no stars on show...

2
0

I thik I see a flag that's not flapping in the wind too.

So it can't be Earth...

3
0
Silver badge
Go

It HAS to be a fake.

It doesn't look a thing like they show in the movies!

2
0
Thumb Up

Despite the pic being of only 2 dots...

...that is one HELL of an impressive photo!!

5
0

Re: Despite the pic being of only 2 dots

Here here! Stunning pic.

0
0
Mushroom

why solar?

I believe there was no appropriate nuclear source available for the mission - noone makes much 238 Plutonium any more, and it takes a while to produce enough for a mission (and it's damn expensive).

2
0
Mushroom

re: why solar?

It could also be that all the "OMG NUKES! IT MIGHT CRASH ON TAKEOFF AND SPREAD RADIATION EVERYWHERE!!!!11" people caused NASA to think it'd just be easier to go solar and not deal with the protesters. I imagine it's also cheaper than having to build a small nuclear reactor and fuel it.

2
0

Obligatory Python

Can we have your liver, then?

0
0
Happy

Great Wall of China

If you look closely you can just about make it out.

3
0
Thumb Up

that's just peanuts to space...

I'll just leave this here....

http://www.scaleoftheuniverse.com/

8
0
Thumb Up

That's awesome!

My head now hurts.

0
0
Gold badge
Pint

Not bad...

...not bad at all.

Now the zoom on Google Earth seems a triffle limiting.

Is there a laymans page that explains the mimimun dimension? Is it that dimensions quantize? If not then you can't have 1.5 times the minimum, becuase you can't say how much bigger than 1 it is, no?

Also why is the minimum / quanta so much smaller than any physical thing? Do the physical things move around on a grid of that size? or do they move around gridless, but if they get closer than that minimum then something weird happens?

After thinking about that, my worst case analysis has just got interesting again :)

1
0
Anonymous Coward

@BristolBachelor

space is quantized into units at the planck length apparently.

as for the notion that they can get closer than that, well, space and time cease to have meaning below that threshold because of the experimentally verified uncertainty principle, so any traditional definition of 'closeness' doesnt inherently make any sense.

as for how these minimum units of space are arranged (is it regular grid? a hexagonal grid? etc), this seems to fall into the same category. and at this scale extra dimensions from super-string theory might come into play anyway (if it turns out to be correct).

intuitive questions like -- "what happens when a particle emits a photon? shouldnt there be a fraction of time as it is being released when the photon is half in / half out, or half-formed?" -- dont necessarily make sense, as space-time is quantized, and the 'fraction of time' isnt something that can be said to exist in the real world on that scale.

Brian green has a decent section at the end of "The Fabric Of The Cosmos" about ideas that underpin space time.

Because of the vast difference in scale between gravitational strength and the planck length, it is extremely difficult to do experiments that probe how space-time (gravity / relativity / dimensions, etc) interact on a tiny scale.

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

Black and White?

Is that a monochrome picture? If it's in colour, I'm surprised that the Earth doesn't look more blue-green-ish when you average it into a few pixels.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It must be b/w

'cause I recall reading about the Voyager's last pic of the earth as it was heading past Jupiter/Saturn and it was coloured and described as a "pale blue dot". Look it up in Google, there is an interesting and moving story behind, it done by Carl Sagan's team. Or just start here: http://http:www.carlsagan.com

0
0
Joke

Dammit...

I wasn't smiling, can you take it again?

12
0
Joke

Release forms

I hope they got the appropriate completed model release forms for everyone in shot.

7
0
Happy

This is a remarkable sight people get to see all too rarely

Oh no it isn't!

(deep inhale)

0
0
Happy

This is a remarkable sight people get to see all too rarely

Oh yes it is!

and...

It's Behind You!

0
0
Facepalm

bah

Had to bloomin clean my screen to figure out which blob was the moon and which the grease fingerprints!

damn you reg, forcing me to clean like that :(

0
0

Pale Blue Dot, anyone?

Carl Sagan is my homeboy.

2
0
Joke

That...

...is the first thing our new Alien Overlords will see just before they arrive on December 21, 2012...

0
0
Pint

Thats nice

They'll be here just in time for Christmas.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I, for one....

Welcome our alien Overlords at Christmas.

So long as they bring beer, chocolate and a prezzy.

0
0

An

it the last thing they will see when we kick there little green butts back to where they came from.

0
0

Interesting

What level of zoom is that camera using I wonder, to bring us that picture from 6 million miles.

Can someone answer why we can't see any other celestial bodies? Have they isolated Earth and the Moon somehow?

I'd rather see the heavens in their entirety, with Earth and the Moon highlighted.

0
0

Ans.

"Can someone answer why we can't see any other celestial bodies? Have they isolated Earth and the Moon somehow?"

Dynamic range

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.