Between 2007 and 2009, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) captured more than 600 incredible photos and videos of the moon with an orbiting Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE) mission spacecraft, informally called Kaguya. Named after a lunar princess from Japanese lore, Kaguya had 2.2 megapixel HDTV sensors onboard, giving us some incredible HD firsts from the moon.

sh_20081009t184504_wm8_0000_bl-1440x900

sh_20071231t152530_ti1_0000_bl-1440x900

sh_20071106t082011_wi1_0004_bl-1440x900

Watch two more videos by the Kaguya Spacecraft: Earthset Glare Viewed and Lunar South Pole Earthset Viewed.

The Earth sets in the glare of the sun in this rarely-seen video from the Kaguya lunar orbiter in October 2008.

JAXA’s Kaguya spacecraft spies the Earth in the distance as it passes below the south pole of the moon in November 2007. This video is usually presented with the Earth above the moon’s horizon, but has been inverted here to show north as up.

For more of JAXA’s HD photos from the moon, check out this gallery at Arstechnica.

Next: More moon, more JAXA, and videos that touch on The Overview Effect, including Planet Earth in 4K: Time lapse images taken by an orbiting satellite and The 45th Anniversary of Earthrise.

via The Planetary Society, h/t @m_m_campbell.

WATCH MORE VIDEOS ABOUT...