Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Extraordinary Footage From Starship Juno


A starship comes tearing through the solar system, its sensors capturing a brief glimpse of the inner planets. A small blue-green world spins while its tiny dark moon gyrates around it. And then all is gone. Left behind for eternity as this interstellar voyager speeds on to the gaping void that is the rest of our Galaxy...

It's hard not to think of a fantasy like this when watching the footage below. On October 9th 2013 NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter performed an Earth-flyby, grabbing a little bit of momentum from our planet's orbit and speeding onwards to its 2016 rendezvous with the gas-giant king. During the Earth encounter Juno's star tracker - a camera designed to help with spacecraft orientation and navigation - caught these noisy and slightly obscure frames. The result? A time-lapse montage of the Earth and Moon in their ancient waltz, and a hint of a world that a real starship might want to visit one day (watch with the sound up).

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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