Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thank you, NASA

Way back in the day, NASA launched Messenger, a probe that will swing by Mercury and take pictures and whatnot. To pick up speed or whatever it is probes do, Messenger made a loop around Earth. Some smart guys had it take pictures of earth as it flew away and spliced them together into a movie.

The movie has 358 frames taken over 24 hours. The Earth spins around and shrinks as the probe flies off. In those 24 hours, the probe covered 230,000 miles. It's due to reach Mercury in 2011, after doing two passes by Venus.

Check out the video. Truly stunning. You are a tiny, tiny piece of something very special.

Update: An alert reader notes that thanks really should go to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, who built the damn probe and made the film. NASA paid for the work, but the gang at Johns Hopkins did us all a great service.

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