Danuri shows the Earth and the Moon as “equals”

As you know, the diameter of the Earth is about 12.7 thousand km, while the Moon is almost four times smaller — its diameter is 3.4 thousand km. In this regard, it may seem that the image below is a photomontage. But this is not the case.

The Earth and the Moon in the image of the Danuri probe. Source: KPLO/Thomas Appéré

The image was taken by the South Korean Danuri probe on November 28, 2022. At the time of the shooting, it was at a distance of 489 thousand km from the Earth and 121 thousand km from the Moon. Due to this circumstance, our planet and its moon had the same apparent size in the field of view of the cameras of Danuri. This allowed the spacecraft to make such an impressive double portrait.

The position of the Earth and the Moon relative to the Danuri probe on the day of shooting the “double” portrait. Source: Rêves d’Espace

It is worth noting that for greater effect, the brightness of the Moon was increased compared to the original image. Looking at the night sky, we usually get the impression that the moon of our planet is a very bright object. But the fact is that in reality it reflects only 12% of the sunlight falling on it. Our planet is much brighter than the Moon. It reflects about 30% — 35% of the sun’s rays. Therefore, in joint portraits, the brightness of the Moon is often increased so that it is not lost against the background of the Earth. 

The Earth and the Moon in the image of the Danuri probe (unprocessed version). Source: KPLO

Recall that in December, Danuri entered a selenocentric orbit. Currently, South Korean specialists are checking the systems of the device and calibrating its scientific instruments. Danuri has also already transmitted a number of images, some of which show the Earth rising above the Moon.

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