NASA satellite captures a unique view of the total lunar eclipse that occurred on May 15


A NASA satellite, named Lucy, launched in October 2021, managed to capture a unique perspective on the total lunar eclipse, which occurred on May 15-16. The satellite was launched on a 12-year journey to probe eight different asteroids, including an asteroid in the solar system’s main asteroid belt. The other seven asteroids that the satellite will probe come from Jupiter’s Trojan asteroid cluster.

The satellite was already at a distance of 64 million miles (100 million km) from Earth, or about 70% of the distance between Earth and the Sun, when it observed the total lunar eclipse.

“While total lunar eclipses aren’t that rare — they happen about every year — it’s not that often that you get the chance to view them from an entirely new perspective,” said planetary scientist Hal Levison of the Southwest. Research Institute ( SwRI), which is the principal investigator of the mission in a press release.

“When the team realized that Lucy had had the chance to observe this lunar eclipse as part of the instrument calibration process, everyone was incredibly excited,” Levison added.

“Capturing these images was truly an incredible team effort. Instrument, guidance, navigation and science operations teams all had to work together to collect this data, putting Earth and the Moon in the same frame,” said acting deputy principal investigator Dr John Spencer, also from SwRI.

The satellite took 86 one-millisecond exposure shots to make a 2-second timelapse of the first half of the eclipse. The video was posted by NASA on its website. People can see a cross-sectional view of the eclipse in the short but fascinating video.

The video is available at the following link.

Tech

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