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StartScience NewsNASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Observes Lunar Eclipse From 64 Million Miles Away

NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Observes Lunar Eclipse From 64 Million Miles Away

NASA’s Lucy Mission First Reconnaissance of Trojan Asteroids

NASA’s Lucy mission, which launched on October 16, 2021, for the primary reconnaissance of the Trojans, a inhabitants of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter. On this artist’s idea (to not scale), the Lucy spacecraft is flying by Eurybates, one of many six various and scientifically vital Trojans to be studied. Credit score: Southwest Analysis Institute

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft observed the total lunar eclipse on May 15-16, 2022, from a unique vantage point, 64 million miles (100 million km) from the Earth, nearly 70% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Using its high-resolution panchromatic camera, L’LORRI, Lucy was able to watch as the Earth cast its shadow on the Moon. At this distance, the Earth and Moon appeared only 0.2 degrees apart to Lucy, having the same separation as a car’s tail-lights as viewed from a quarter-mile (400 m) away.

Credit score: NASA/Goddard/APL/SwRI

On this timelapse video, the Earth is seen within the left (its rotation clearly seen) whereas the Moon (on the best, brightened sixfold to extend its visibility) disappears from view because it passes into the Earth’s shadow. The video covers a interval of just about three hours, from 9:40 p.m. EDT (6:40 p.m. PDT) on Might 15 to 12:30 a.m. EDT on Might 16 (9:30 p.m. PDT on Might 15). The observations ended earlier than the Moon emerged from the shadow.

The Lucy spacecraft launched in October 2021. It’s presently touring again in direction of Earth for a gravity help on October 16, 2022, to assist propel it on its journey to the Trojan asteroids.


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