18 July 2008

Moon Transits Earth!

Posted by Ryan Anderson

If you know me, you know that I can’t get enough of pictures of our planet from space. I have the Pale Blue Dot quote posted above my desk, and the famous “Earthrise” picture on my office door.

So maybe that’s why I find the two new videos posted on the EPOXI (formerly known as Deep Impact) mission website, so amazingly cool.

The top one depicts infrared light as red, and you can see that the continents look bright red. This is because green plants reflect in the infrared. Even from space, even though there are no signs of humans, you can tell that our world is alive. I’m just waiting for us to get an image like this of a planet around another star. Coincidentally, part of EPOXI’s mission is to study extrasolar planets. It won’t be able to take actual images of them of course, but it’s one step along that path.