What the Earth looks like from space: unique photos from the Moon's orbit

Dmitry IvancheskulLife
The Danuri orbiter will study the Moon for a year

South Korea's Danuri orbiter (also known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter), which entered the Moon's orbit at the end of December, has sent its first photos of the Earth. They show our planet rising above its satellite. The photos repeat the famous images known as Earthrise, taken in 1968.

The photos were posted on the Facebook page of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. The photo is also interesting because it shows the Earth from space on the first day of 2023. One of the images was taken on 1 January.

The images sent by Danuri from the Moon's orbit were taken using a high-resolution camera (LUTI) installed on the spacecraft. The published photos clearly show the lunar craters and the Earth, which seems to be rising above the Moon.

Earth from space above the Moon

The photos were taken between December 24 and January 1 and at different altitudes above the lunar surface. One of the photos was taken on Christmas Eve, when Danuri was 344 km above the lunar surface, while the other was taken on the first day of 2023.

Photo of the Earth from the orbit of the Moon

Earthrise is a photograph of the Earth and a part of the Moon's surface taken on December 24, 1968 by astronaut William Anders, who was in orbit of the Moon as part of the Apollo 8 mission.

Earthrise over the Moon on December 24, 1968

Launched in August 2022 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Danuri was South Korea's first space mission beyond Earth's orbit. On December 28, it entered the lunar orbit with 93 kg of fuel, enough for a one-year mission.

View of the Earth from the Moon's orbit on December 31, 2022.

Danuri is currently circling the Moon at 1.62 kilometres per second, making a full revolution every two hours. In orbit, the spacecraft conducts payload performance tests and error correction. As early as February 2023, Danuri will begin full-fledged scientific research for which it was sent into space.

Photo of the Earth from the Moon's orbit, taken on January 1, 2023.

In lunar orbit, it will use six on-board instruments to study the relief, magnetic field strength, gamma radiation and other characteristics of the Moon. Its tasks also include identifying potential landing sites for future lunar missions.

The orbiter will perform tasks to explore lunar resources such as water ice, uranium, helium-3, helium, silicon and aluminium.

As OBOZREVATEL reported earlier, scientists from China said they had found signs of water in lunar soil samples.

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