Foreign media: Chinese satellite returns clear images, the back of the moon and the Earth in the same frame, exciting!

Home > Explore

Foreign media: Chinese satellite returns clear images, the back of the moon and the Earth in the same frame, exciting!

2019-02-09 09:18:18 160 ℃
With the first soft landing of Chang'e IV on the back of the moon, human beings began to have the opportunity to examine the mysterious land in unprecedented detail. Recently, the Longjiang 2 lunar orbiting satellite, independently developed by our country, successfully captured a complete picture of the back of the moon in the same frame as the Earth and sent it back to the ground. "We've seen it before, but we've never been as excited as we are today. It's supposed to be the best and clearest picture ever taken," MIT Technology Review and other foreign media reported.

Because the scientific data and information acquired by Chang'e IV mission in China are fully shared with other countries, scientists all over the world can access satellite data at any time. This same-frame picture of the Earth and Moon was downloaded from the Dutch Dwingeloo Radio Telescope Center. It is 16,000 bytes in size and takes about 20 minutes to download.

This photo has been widely circulated abroad. Some media even called it "reminiscent of a famous image taken in NASA's Apollo 8 mission" -- "The Earth Rises". The photograph was taken by NASA astronaut Bill Anders in 1968, when the first manned flight around the moon took place. The Earth rose slowly from the moon. The Longjiang 2 satellite, which is independently developed by Harbin University of Technology, is one of the twin microsatellites. It weighs less than 45 kg and has a volume of about 50 cm*50 cm*40 cm. It entered the lunar orbit with the relay satellite "Queqiao" on May 21, 2018. Longjiang 1 and Longjiang 2 microsatellites were originally planned to fly around the moon in formation. Ultra-long wave astronomical interferometry experiments with baseline length of 1-10 km were carried out. Unfortunately, Longjiang 1 lost contact with the ground after launch, leaving only Longjiang 2 functioning normally. (The picture below is the image of Longjiang 2 returned earlier)

According to foreign media, "Only one of the two microsatellites is equipped with an optical camera developed by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, it is Longjiang 2. This means that in the future we can receive more beautiful pictures of the moon.

Author/Zhu Zhanghangyue

References: This stunning view of the far side of the moon was taken by a Chinese satellite, MIT technology review, 7 Feb 2019