Gazing at the moon via telescope, photography, or simply lying out in an open field is a majestic perspective we earthlings are commonly afforded. Although we long to experience seeing the earth from the moon's perspective, the reality is that public trips to the moon are yet to exist. However, there just may be a solution thanks to the innovative mind of planetary scientist James O’Donoghue.
O'Donoghue—who has previously worked as a NASA Fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA—is currently based in Japan and works for the Japanese space agency JAXA. One of his recent projects compiles a collection of images of lunar topography—via NASA’s data and rover information—creating a computer-generated display of what the earth would look like from the moon’s perspective. The final result is a high-resolution video, shown through the lens of a satellite's view of the earth. The video displays a side-by-side perspective of the earth and moon, as they transition over the entire month of April 2020. Each frame of the video is a compilation of 15 minutes of captured time. The video runs as a time-lapse view of the earth and moon being bathed in sunlight and darkness repeatedly.
O’Donoghue’s work is a first in terms of using visuals and perspectives of our planet and moon in this fashion. His intent was to show the general public the different phases of the moon, including its rotation patterns around the earth. He hopes that the video truly highlights the different sizes and angles of the moon during its rotation, offering viewers a unique perspective.
You can watch James O’Donoghue’s hypnotic Earth and Moon video here:
Made in isolation, depicting isolation. Here's how Earth looks from the Moon & how Moon looks from Earth, April 2020: showing accurate phases and rotations. CGI based on real NASA imagery, lunar topography (exaggerated for fun), using NASA data (see it 4K https://t.co/EQ2fdR0u95) pic.twitter.com/YwO6GG5B4D
— Dr James O'Donoghue (@physicsJ) April 19, 2020