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Tampabay.com - Reporting with a camera

New image of Earth from space, and a rare full moon

20

December

It looks so peaceful from out there. NASA last week released a new high-resolution image of the Earth appearing to rise over the horizon on the moon.

The composite image was made by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which is in orbit around the moon. 

The African continent is visible in the image. The large tan area in the upper right is the Sahara Desert, and just beyond is Saudi Arabia. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America are visible to the left. 

This image was composed from a series of images taken Oct. 12, when LRO was about 83 miles above the moon's farside crater Compton, which can be seen in the foreground.

The LRO mission has been investigating the lunar surface since 2009.

And if you gaze up at the moon this week, you'll see a rare event indeed: a full moon on Christmas.

Not since 1977 has a full moon dawned in the skies on Christmas. It won’t happen again until 2034.

December’s full moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter. The moon’s peak this year will occur at 6:11 a.m. EST, according to NASA. 

[Last modified: Sunday, December 20, 2015 10:15pm]

    

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