Dig on this, boys and girls: Video of the moon crossing the Earth, taken from the Deep Impact spacecraft 31 million miles away:
There was a reason to do this, NASA contends, other than just because it was cool:
Scientists are using the video to develop techniques to study alien worlds.
“Making a video of Earth from so far away helps the search for other life-bearing planets in the Universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would appear to us,” said University of Maryland astronomer Michael A’Hearn, principal investigator for the Deep Impact extended mission, called EPOXI.
Well, okay, maybe. Taking a picture from 31 million miles away is a bit different from taking a picture of a planet tens of trillions of miles away, however, as nearly every extra-solar planet would be. But they’re the scientists; perhaps they know what they’re doing. And in the meantime, we get a very cool video to geek out on.