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Sayonara Moon

June 19, 2009
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Japan launched a satellite with an HD camera into lunar orbit two years ago.  The probe was named Kaguya, after a rather appropriate character in a thousand year old Japanese story, the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Last week it was purposefully crashed into the moon. Below is 3D HD footage of its last moments before impact. Worth hitting the HD button and going full screen to watch it try to skim over those last hills and crater rims.

Kaguya also got rather dramatic HD views of Earth while in orbit.

Earthrise:

Earthset:

Plus closeups of the moon’s surface:

More HD videos on the Japanese Space Agency’s YouTube page.

さよなら、かぐや 。

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2009 12:53 pm

    AWESOME.

  2. June 19, 2009 1:56 pm

    So small point of clarification on the first video — the impact was just past the terminator of the ‘dark side’ of the moon and thus they weren’t able to take pictures of the last few minutes. But here’s what my my crappy Japanese and awkward google translation (Google translates Kaguya as “smell” for some reason…) leads me to believe is the last shot taken.

    No idea on scale however. Damn moon’s a giant fractal that way.

    I did like how last line transgooglated out:

    “However, the impact point for shade from the moon to become dark, unable to obtain data needed to create a pair of stereoscopic images, we could not shoot the moon.”

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