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As the earth moves away...

"It is not the Moon that’s coming closer which excited us but the Earth that is moving away. We might go any farther but we keep looking at our home land."
~ Apollo Mission

Exposure conditions for Earth viewing? What are the ideal conditions for Earth-viewing? How can one take a photograph of Earth?

As we gear up to goto the moon, it is natural for us to plan to photograph our home, some high level considerations presented here:

When Moon is at "Position #4", we could get a great photo of Earth with whole of the surface illuminated by sunlight provided you are on the near side. The challenge is for "Position #4" the craft will need to be in darkness. Cold, dark, no solar energy to power systems or manage thermal systems to keep the craft alive.

It would be a challenge for thermal systems to cope with survival through the lunar night, let alone attempting to photograph Earth. Next best scenario is when Moon is at either position #1 or #3 where both the Earth and Moon are half-lit. You need to position yourself in the Eastern hemisphere on the near side of Moon near "Position #1" or the Western hemisphere at "Position #3". Position 1 can be eliminated if your mission required whole of the lunar surface lit for optical navigation during descent in order to reduce the risk of accidental landing at non-illuminated zones. Which leaves "Position #2" as the ideal landing area and "Position #3" for photographing the Earth. So western hemisphere it is for Team Indus!

Watch out for more updates on trajectory planning and beyond.

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