We often see breathtaking views of Earth, imaged in the midst of the vast darkness of space. Likewise, we have a plethora of photos of the Moon, taken by the various Apollo crew members and other spacecrafts that have made the voyage to Earth’s satellite. In these various images, each stands out in high detail, and they give us a clear perspective of what the object in question actually looks like–and this helps us to better understand our corner of the cosmos and our role within it. Sadly, we don’t have too many pictures of the two together. Or at least, in a majority of the images, one of the two is fuzzy and ill-defined, which ultimately damaged the perspectve that the image would otherwise afford.
But Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut aboard the International Space Station, managed to take this well-defined, stunning photo on February 21, 2014.
Wakata is currently a flight engineer on the space station’s Expedition 38 crew. Aboard the ISS, he represents JAXA (the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency). Over the course of his career, Wakata has amassed a following of some 74.3K individuals on Twitter alone. You can follow him here, and catch all of his amazing updates.
When he tweeted this image, Wakata wrote, “The moon setting on the blue earth atmosphere.” And this is not the only image that Wakata has captured of the Earth-Moon system. He posted the photo below on February 1, 2014. Here, we see the crescent Moon rising over the Earth’s atmosphere.
Wakata is going to take over as the ISS commander in March. This will mark the first time that a JAXA astronaut has done so. And he is scheduled to return to Earth in May, which is just three short months away, so be sure to head over to his twitter account to keep up with him until then.