The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and public broadcaster NHK have succeeded in capturing their first high-definition video of Earth from the Kaguya lunar explorer, a.k.a. SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer), an orbiter launched in mid-September on a mission to study the moon. (Click for full-sized image.)
Using a high-definition camera NHK developed specifically for use in space, the video was taken at a distance of 110,000 kilometers (68,000 miles) from Earth, making it the most distant HDTV footage of the planet ever taken. Previous HDTV video from the Space Shuttle and International Space Station was taken from a distance of 340 kilometers (210 miles).
More HDTV space footage -- including a money-shot of the Earth rising over the lunar horizon -- is expected this month as Kaguya continues its journey toward the moon. Viewers with HDTV-compatible television sets will get to experience the full quality of the high-definition video whenever NHK decides to air it.