China's lunar orbiter captures EPIC images of Earth during solar eclipse: Check here

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 06 July 2019, 11:23 AM
Earth during solar eclipse (Representational image / Photo Credit: Twitter)
Earth during solar eclipse (Representational image / Photo Credit: Twitter)

From the ground, Earth looks like a boundless fertile plain that beckons to be explored and exploited. Isn’t it? But astronauts would beg and even plead to differ. Recently, South America witnessed a total solar eclipse and the images of it were just EPIC. Well, have you ever imagined what Earth would look like during the solar eclipse if you were on the moon?  

According to report by Xinhua, a microsatellite developed by the Harbin Institute of Technology in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, which is now orbiting the moon, captured mesmerizing photos of Earth during the solar eclipse in the early hours of Wednesday (Beijing time).

It is to be noted that the microsatellite, weighing 47 kg and named Longjiang-2, was sent into space on May 21 last year, along with the Chang'e-4 lunar probe's relay satellite dubbed as "Queqiao" and entered lunar orbit four days later.

According to the research team from the Harbin Institute of Technology, the microsatellite carries a mini CMOS camera that only weighs 20 grams, which makes it easy to operate, and it can take pictures at short intervals.

“Since the camera uses an automatic exposure mode, the camera's field of vision must contain a certain area of the moon to realize correct exposure. When the recent total solar eclipse occurred, the orbiter was flying over the far side of the moon. In the few minutes before and after the moon blocked the earth, all the conditions were right to take the pictures,” Xinhua further quoted the team as saying.

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According to the team, to avoid becoming space rubbish, the microsatellite will be controlled to crash into the moon after it stops operation at the end of July.

As per Xinhua, the team cooperated with amateur radio operators in Spain and Germany in taking and receiving the photos. Nearly two pictures taken by the microsatellite during the solar eclipse were sent back to Earth on Wednesday.

Take a look:

 

(Photo Credit: Harbin Institute of Technology)

(Photo Credit: Harbin Institute of Technology)

In the pictures, you can see the shadow of the moon falling on the Earth. For observers on Earth, those in the darkest area at the core of the shadow could see a total solar eclipse, while those in the grey area could see a partial solar eclipse.

First Published: Saturday, July 06, 2019 11:18 AM
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