Watch Satellite Imagery of Lunar Eclipse Seen From Mercury

first_img Scientists Discover Possible Interstellar VisitorWater Vapor Detected on Potentially ‘Habitable’ Planet Stay on target Cosmic events like last month’s Micro Blood Moon eclipse are breathtaking from Earth. So imagine the views from outer space.German cosmonaut Alexander Gerst gave us a sneak peek when he tweeted a series of photos (captioned “Just magical”) from the International Space Station.But perhaps even more impressive are the images captured by NASA’s Messenger satellite, which orbited Mercury between 2011 and 2015.A video, first published in December and rebroadcast this week by Business Insider, provides footage of what lunar eclipses look like from our Solar System’s innermost planet.The timelapse, created from 31 images taken two minutes apart, starts just before the Moon enters the darkest part of Earth’s shadow (the umbra). Seen from 48 million miles away, the bigger, brighter light is Earth, and the smaller, fading glare is its satellite.Watch as the Moon is engulfed in the Earth’s shadow, seemingly disappearing completely.Intended to help astronomers better understand Mercury—the smallest, densest, and least-explored terrestrial planet—Messenger was launched in August 2004, completed one Earth flyby, two Venus flybys, and three Mercury flybys before spending a year orbiting the orb.It successfully completed its primary mission in 2012, and, after two mission extensions, the spacecraft deorbited and impacted the surface of Mercury in April 2015.Luckily for us, it captured a 2014 lunar eclipse—a rare cosmic sighting.Plenty of folks on Earth, meanwhile, shared snaps of this year’s second total lunar eclipse, which occurred when the Moon passed within our planet’s shadow, “covering” part of the satellite and turning it a deep shade of red.Unlike January’s Super Blue Blood Moon, when the planetoid was circling quite near us, on the day of this eclipse, the full Moon was at its farthest from Earth, appearing smaller in the sky (hence the “micro” title).For someone standing on the Moon during July’s Micro Blood Moon eclipse, the Earth, according to Business Insider, would have looked as if it were surrounded by a ring of fire.center_img Want to know more about eclipses? You can read up on them here!  You can visit all of Geek’s space coverage here.last_img

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