krygny writes: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has created a video of the moon transiting (passing in front of) Earth as seen from the spacecraft's point of view 31 million miles away. 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. "Our video shows some specific features that are important for observations of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars," said Drake Deming of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
... "A 'sun glint' can be seen in the movie, caused by light reflected from Earth's oceans, and similar glints to be observed from extrasolar planets could indicate alien oceans. Also, we used infrared light instead of the normal red light to make the color composite images, and that makes the land masses much more visible."
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