Artemis 1's Orion spacecraft watches Earth rise over the shadowed moon (video)

Earth rises over the shadowed moon like a blue beacon in a newly released video from NASA's Artemis 1 mission.

The uncrewed Orion spacecraft captured the footage on Monday (Nov. 21), the same day it performed a crucial engine burn during a lunar flyby. Five days earlier, Orion launched to space on Artemis 1, the first flight of NASA's Artemis program.

The two-minute video shows Earth slowly appearing behind the moon as Orion flies overhead. The moon is completely invisible in shadow, making our planet appear to come out of a black void.

The video was taken at 8:05 a.m. EST (1305 GMT) on Monday, about six minutes after Orion regained contact with NASA's Deep Space Network of antennas following its lunar maneuver, agency officials said in a description with the video on YouTube (opens in new tab)

In photos: Amazing views of NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket debut 

The video footage was transmitted to Earth outside of an epic live broadcast that took place around that time, which focused on viewing our planet as a "pale blue dot" deep in space in the minutes after Orion regained communication with Earth.

"You are seeing the Earth; you are seeing home. You are seeing yourself in that image right there as Orion is 232,000 miles [373,000 kilometers] away from planet Earth," NASA spokesperson Sandra Jones said during live coverage of the Orion lunar flyby on NASA Television.

Live viewers on Monday also saw Earth setting behind the moon in the moments before Orion lost communication, as expected, to perform its engine maneuver on the lunar far side, which radio waves from our planet cannot reach.

The Artemis 1 mission is testing the readiness of Orion and NASA's huge Space Launch System rocket for future missions of the Artemis program, which will continue with the Artemis 2 crewed mission around the moon as soon as 2024.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller (opens in new tab)?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace

  • ARTGLICK
    Shame on space.com for perpetuating a widely held misconception. There is no such thing as an "Earthrise" on the Moon. The Moon is tidally locked with the Earth. This means that from any point on the Moon that the Earth is visible it hangs eternally in the same spot (albeit with a little wobble).

    The Earth never "rises" or "sets" as viewed from the Moon. It does go through phases from full to new, as the Moon does when viewed from Earth, but is just hangs there in the same spot of the lunar sky in perpetuity.

    The only reason that the Earth "came into view" around the limb of the Moon is because the vantage point was from a craft orbiting around the Moon. The author was obliged to point that out in my opinion.
    Reply