Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



KAGUYA (SELENE) Takes First HDTV Image

November 15, 2007
Source: JAXA

Earth-rise image taken by the HDTV onboard KAGUYA. The Moon's surface is near the Earth’s north pole, and the Arabian Peninsula and Indian Ocean can be observed.The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully taken the world's first high-definition image of an Earth-rise by the lunar explorer KAGUYA (SELENE).

The expression “Earth-rise” refers to a phenomenon seen only from satellites that travel around the Moon, such as KAGUYA and the Apollo spacecraft. An Earth-rise cannot be observed by a person who is on the Moon, as they will always see Earth at the same position.

The Apollo missions were the first to take images of Earth rising over the Moon. KAGUYA successfully captured high-definition images of the Earth-rise, showing an impressive image of the blue Earth, which was the only floating object in pitch-dark space. These are the world's first high-definition Earth images, taken from about 380,000 kilometers away from the Earth in space.

The image was taken by KAGUYA's onboard high-definition television (HDTV), developed for use in space by NHK. The moving image data acquired by KAGUYA was received at the JAXA Usuda Deep Space Center and processed by NHK.

KAGUYA, Japan’s first large lunar explorer, was injected into a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 kilometers on October 18, 2007.The satellite was confirmed to be in good health through telemetry data received at the Usuda station.

For more information, visit

KAGUYA (SELENE) Image Taking of Earth-Rise by HDTV

SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE)

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Last updated January 30, 2008