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HD videos from Kaguya
June 6, 2009 9:07 PM   Subscribe

The lunar orbital spacecraft Selene, better known by its Japanese name Kaguya, has been sending back some incredible HD video, including some of Earth rising and the Moon's surface.

Many more videos from (and about) Kaguya here, with English versions of some here.

Kaguya, named after the moon princess in perhaps Japan's oldest folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, will impact the surface of the moon on June 10th. Kaguya previously.
posted by Rinku (25 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some links via Kottke.
posted by Rinku at 9:08 PM on June 6, 2009


This mission has been so cool to watch. Thanks for the links.
posted by strixus at 9:18 PM on June 6, 2009


Fake fake fake. I don't see any stars. And the surface looks CG. I wish we could actually go to the moon for real, for once!

(I'm totally kidding. This is actually totally wicked.)
posted by tomplus2 at 9:24 PM on June 6, 2009


It's only a model.
posted by brundlefly at 9:46 PM on June 6, 2009


I'll be turning a screenshot from Kaguya into my wallpaper tomorrow morning.
posted by Decimask at 9:51 PM on June 6, 2009


Seriously, my jaw is on the floor. I love this shit. Also, previously. For some reason, I didn't tag that post with "kaguya" or "selene." I have now.
posted by brundlefly at 9:53 PM on June 6, 2009


I love these images - it's amazing what a clearer image we can get of the moon now. Absolutely stunning. And thanks for making reference to the original folktale. Kaguya is also the final boss of Imperishable Night, although this one's not as interested in sending back cool photos of the moon as she is in wrecking your shit.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:54 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Space exploration never ceases to inspire me, whether manned or unmanned. Great links!
posted by deadmessenger at 9:55 PM on June 6, 2009


This is great stuff. Imagine 1080P @ 120hz or better on a bigscreen -- it'd be indistiguishable from if not superior to looking out a real spacecraft viewport.

It's already pretty damn cool running fullscreen on my 24" LCD monitor. I could watch this for hours. I had to save the YT to disk to get rid of the playback choppiness for some reason.
posted by @troy at 10:02 PM on June 6, 2009


The Jaxa YouTube channel has a ton of Kaguya vids. The surface close-ups give me the chills.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:03 PM on June 6, 2009


*jaw drops*
posted by Space Kitty at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2009


I am left most speechless after watching these.

I have a love for space and the exploration of it that I am almost never able to really explain, especially when I'm trying so hard to answer someone about why we should even have a space program. Maybe it's not something I can really explain all that well. After all, the practical reasons fall short of really summing it all up; the final bit I could never really communicate to someone else who doesn't already get it is something perhaps irrational, and (for me) nonverbal.

The feeling I have while watching these is that last bit, the wonder and joy that just explodes from my chest when seeing something like this. I am suddenly a kid again, and I naively want to believe that it would affect everyone the same way. I suppose if watching such awesome results of our space-pokings doesn't really stir anything deep in someone then I probably don't have much chance at all of explaining it to them.
posted by Stunt at 10:35 PM on June 6, 2009


I wish the U.S. space program were half as savvy about naming its equipment. Russia calls its ISS modules "star" and "dawn", Japan's moon probe is named after a folktale, the Italy-built MPLMs are Leonardo, Donatello, and Raffaello (please let there be funding for a fourth...) Nearly everything we have up right now is named some sappy abstract concept like "Harmony" or "Spirit" - are these space vehicles or are they hippie children? No wonder people can't relate to the space program.

(Any folktale associated with the name "Destiny" (one of the ISS modules) is probably going to be NSFW.)
posted by casarkos at 11:16 PM on June 6, 2009


Can anybody explain how the light source works on this one of an Earthrise?

We see shadows in front of Kaguya, as it sails across the surface, with the light appearing to be somewhere in front of us. But when the earth appears, it is fully illuminated 'face-on', so the light source must be behind us ...

I'm not calling 'fake' or anything, just curious how this could be.
posted by woodblock100 at 12:17 AM on June 7, 2009


somewhere in front of us

no, the craters are in shadow on the half that is closest to us, indicating that the sun is behind us (and off to the right).
posted by @troy at 12:24 AM on June 7, 2009


Woodblock, the light looks like it's coming from behind and to the right of the camera (look at how the shadows lie in the craters). The light angle can look ambiguous since there's not much context, but if you remember that craters are generally rounded dents and not rounded bumps, it's clear that the light is coming from behind and there are shadows on the near side of each crater. There's one crater towards the end of the first half with a central peak where the shadows are more obvious.

In the second half of the video the light is coming from behind and to the left.
posted by hattifattener at 12:27 AM on June 7, 2009


rounded dents and not rounded bumps

Yes, I see now ... I let my brain get fooled by that one. I've got it mentally 'flipped over' now, and everything looks normal ... Thanks!
posted by woodblock100 at 12:35 AM on June 7, 2009


Woodblock100, you fell victim to a well-known optical illusion. Anyhow, those videos are great; they made me glad I got the 30 inch monitor for my computer. I would even go so far as to say they have the emotional impact of the first earthrise picture.
posted by TedW at 3:00 AM on June 7, 2009


Also, I forgot to mention - these are my tax dollars yen at work ... woo hoo!
posted by woodblock100 at 3:18 AM on June 7, 2009


That was amazing.
posted by flippant at 5:45 AM on June 7, 2009


I have a love for space and the exploration of it that I am almost never able to really explain, especially when I'm trying so hard to answer someone about why we should even have a space program.

Start with my comment in this thread and work your way down for several concrete benefits of having a space program.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:07 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not to derail the thread, but the optical illusion about the craters is similar to the problem architects have illustrating plans. In the northern hemisphere, shadows fall on the north sides of buildings*, which makes them look weird when viewed with north oriented upward, as is the convention.

*typically, except in midsummer near noon, at lower latitudes - midsummer shadows aren't used because they are too short to reflect the heights of buildings and trees clearly.

I am really glad to see the Japanese doing this - I was unaware of the project!
posted by Xoebe at 11:55 AM on June 7, 2009


Can anyone explain what that black monolith is doing there?
posted by gwint at 8:14 PM on June 8, 2009


Kaguya's final moments
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


成仏, かぐや
:(
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:23 PM on June 19, 2009


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