A NASA satellite, named Lucy which was sent off in October 2021, figured out how to catch an extraordinary perspective on the complete lunar eclipse, which happened on May 15-16. The satellite was sent off for a 12-year excursion to test eight unique asteroids, remembering one asteroid from the super asteroid belt for the solar system. The other seven asteroids that the satellite will test are from Jupiter’s trojans asteroid cluster.
The satellite was already at a distance of 64 million miles (100 million km) from the Earth, roughly 70 percent of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, when it observed the total lunar eclipse.
“While total lunar eclipses aren’t that rare – they happen every year or so – it isn’t that often that you get a chance to observe them from an entirely new angle,” said planetary scientist Hal Levison of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), who is the principal researcher of the mission in a statement.
“When the team realized Lucy had a chance to observe this lunar eclipse as a part of the instrument calibration process, everyone was incredibly excited,” Levison added.
“Capturing these images really was an amazing team effort. The instrument, guidance, navigation and science operations teams all had to work together to collect these data, getting the Earth and the Moon in the same frame,” said Acting Deputy Principal Investigator Dr. John Spencer, also from SwRI.
The satellite took 86 one-millisecond exposure shots in order to make a 2-second time-lapse of the first half of the eclipse. The video was published by NASA on its website. People can see a cross-sectional view of the eclipse in the short but mesmerizing video.
The video can be found on the following link.