Astronomy Picture of the Day



Rotating Earth from Galileo

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#100539 by @ 15.05.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Rotating Earth from Galileo


Explanation:
When passing Earth on your way to Jupiter, what should you look for?

That question arose for the
robotic Galileo spacecraft
that soundlessly coasted past the Solar System's
most photographed orb almost two decades ago.

The Galileo spacecraft, although originally
launched
from Earth, coasted past its home world twice in an effort to
gain speed
and shorten the duration of its trip to
Jupiter.

During Galileo's first Earth flyby in late 1990, it made a majestically silent
home movie of our big blue marble rotating by
taking images
almost every minute during a 25-hour period.

The above picture
is one frame from this movie -- clicking on this frame will put it in
motion
(in many browsers).

Visible on Earth are vast
blue oceans, swirling
white clouds,
large golden continents, and even
one continent frozen into a white sheet of water-ice.

As Galileo passed, it saw a globe that not only rotated but began to recede into the distance.

Galileo went on to a
historic mission uncovering many
secrets and mysteries of Jupiter
over the next 14 years, before performing a final
spectacular dive into the
Jovian atmosphere.




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