Space, the Earth immortalized from 14 million km away: the Italian record photo

Here are the first, historical, images captured by the LEIA and LUKE cameras on board LICIACube, an acronym for Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroidsthe first interplanetary probe built in Italy, with the aim of resuming the impact between the DART probe against the small asteroid Dimorphos

The Earth and the Pleiades immortalized from 14 million kilometers away. Here are the first, historical, images captured by the LEIA and LUKE cameras aboard LICIACube, an acronym for Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids, the first interplanetary probe built in Italy. Our planet was captured by the LEIA camera, characterized by a focal length of 220mm and a resolution of 1.13 meters / pixel at 55 kilometers. The second photo, that of the Pleiades, was instead immortalized by the LUKE color camera, equipped with a 1088 × 2048 pixel CMOS sensor, a resolution of 4.31 m / pixel at a distance of 55.2 km and a focal length of 70.55 mm.

The mission

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LICIACube, a nanosatellite of the Italian Space Agency created in the Argotec laboratories in Turin, is only at the beginning of its mission. Its purpose is to resume the impact between the DART probe against the small asteroid Dimorphos which should take place in the night between 26 and 27 September, at a speed of 24 thousand kilometers per hour. From the calculations of this collision, scientists will determine the effectiveness of the kinetic impact technique to deflect celestial bodies. LICIACube will be the only witness to take up this event closely, collecting extremely valuable data for scientific research.

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“This is the first Italian mission in deep space”, remembers about LiciaCube Elisabetta Dotto, researcher at INAF in Rome and coordinator of the group of researchers who have been working on the mission since its conception, “and these first images of the Pleiades and the Terra allowed us to verify the correct functioning of the system for acquiring and sending data to Earth. Being a technologically very complex mission created by a nanosatellite that flies at about 24,000 km / h at 14 million km from the Earth, we are very proud of the work done so far ”. “The image taken by LICIACube has shown how a small satellite, thanks to high technology, is able to acquire high quality images at distances of millions of kilometers from the Earth, where there is an extremely hostile environment”. commented David Avino, CEO and founder of Argotec. “These levels of reliability performance are transferable to numerous other projects, such as Earth observation. ASI and Argotec are writing an important page of the Italian space ”.

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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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