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Watching the Earthrise over the moon

And set again

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Video: From the department of very cool videos come two real corkers. Japan's space agency (JAXA) has released two high definition videos of Earthrise and Earthset, as witnessed by its lunar explorer SELENE, which is now orbiting our largest natural satellite.

The mission arrived at the Moon on 18 October, when it was inserted into orbit at an altitude of roughly 100km.

You can watch the Earth rise here, and set here.

The pictures are something quite special. There is no sound, so you can even imagine that you are floating 100km above the lunar surface, gazing into the awesome depths of space instead of sneaking a break from work in front of your laptop.

The Earthrise video is also entertaining for its initial optical illusion that the Moon is covered in smooth bumps instead of craters. Stare at the picture long enough and it sorts itself out. Honest. ®

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