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Beauty Shot: Moon Probe Catches Full Earthrise
"This is the first time that a high-[definition] image of the 'Full Earth-rise' has been captured from space," JAXA officials said.
The sun, Earth, moon and Kaguya have to line up just right in order to present a full, orb-like Earth to the spacecraft's camera, an arrangement that only occurs about twice a year, they added.
The probe's high-definition television camera, which was provided by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), has recorded an Earthrise before during a Nov. 7, 2007 orbit. But that pass caught a waning Earth, not the full, bright disc spotted on April 5, JAXA officials said.