This Is the Moon in HD, Closer Than Ever Before

Japan's Kaguya lunar probe sends back stunning high-definition footage from an extremely low altitude

Japan’s Kaguya lunar surveyor craft has sent back fresh HD clips as its orbit slowly degrades, bringing it closer than ever to the surface. In two days it will crash-land, bringing its mission to an end, but until then, it’s keeping the ultra-crisp, almost surreal lunar footage coming.

The top clip here was shot from an altitude of just seven miles, while the second one below is from 13 miles up:

Just like the first HD video we saw from the craft two years ago (at a height of 62 miles), it’s sharpness almost makes it look like an animation. But in fact this is the real thing, from a vantage point only a handful of humans have ever seen. These came out on Friday, and if you haven’t already spent your weekend ogling them, please begin to do so now.