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December 18, 2015

Moon scientists photograph Earth rising over craterscape via NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA has released a richly textured image of the Earth taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using cameras operated by Arizona State University.

The new image shows the suface of the moon in the foreground, with Africa, the south Atlantic Ocean and the eastern edge of South America in the spotlight. The large tan area on the upper right is the Sahara Desert, and in the foreground on the moon, we glimpse the Compton crater.

NASA image of the Earth from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
A full Earth straddles the edge of the moon, as seen from lunar orbit above Compton crater in the foreground. On Earth, Africa is visible at center right, and South America can be glimpsed through clouds at left. Photo by NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University


Mark Robinson, a professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space ExplorationThe School of Earth and Space Exploration is a unit of ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences., is the principal investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on the NASA spacecraft. He is in charge of LROC's Science Operations Center on ASU's Tempe campus.

At his direction, the LROC recently captured this unique view of Earth from the spacecraft's vantage point in orbit around the moon. Because the spacecraft is moving, it can see both Earthrises and Earthsets — something someone standing on the moon wouldn't be able to.

"On Earth, moonrise and moonset are always inspiring moments," Robinson said. "However, lunar astronauts will witness something very different. As seen from the lunar surface, Earth never rises or sets."

The moon's rotation is locked by tidal forces, Robinson explained, which keep one side of the Moon always facing toward Earth.

"This means that if you are standing on the moon, Earth always hangs in the same spot in the sky, varying only a small amount," he said.

The latest image was composed from a series of images taken Oct. 12, when LRO was about 83 miles above the moon's surface.

"The image is simply stunning," said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The image of the Earth evokes the famous 'Blue Marble' image taken by astronaut Harrison Schmitt during Apollo 17, 43 years ago, which also showed Africa prominently in the picture."

Rolling and slewing

This is no simple space selfie. The manuever involved the spacecraft rolling 67 degrees to the side and then slewing with the direction of travel to maximize the width of the horizon — while traveling faster than 3,580 miles per hour.

Then there's a bit of special processing needed, in which the information is combined from both the high-resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC, which takes black-and-white images) and the lower-resolution Wide Angle Camera (WAC, which does color).

"Since the spacecraft, Earth and moon are all in motion, we had to do some special processing to create an image that represents the view of the Earth and moon at one particular time," Robinson said.

"In the final Earth image, the WAC provides the color and the NAC provides high-resolution detail."

The Earth may not move across the lunar sky, Robinson says, but the view is hardly static.

"Future astronauts will see continents rotate in and out of view, and the ever-changing pattern of clouds will always catch one's eye — at least for those on the lunar side that faces Earth."

Find more images and technical explanations on the LROC website at

Robert Burnham

Science writer , School of Earth and Space Exploration


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Are you OK being in a tricky situation? You might have a high global mindset.
Even company managers who never leave the U.S. need a high global mindset.
December 18, 2015

Thunderbird professor directs institute devoted to cross-cultural business

Pretend you’re a male American corporate manager who has been negotiating contracts for weeks with a male manager from a Saudi Arabian company. The talks are going well, and on the way to lunch, he holds your hand.

Whether your reaction is “my, how interesting” or “eek!” says a lot about your global mindset.

The “global mindset” is a point of view that embraces diversity, even when the differences are stark — like businessmen holding hands in some Middle Eastern countries, where it signifies respect and friendship. That attitude is critical for people in the modern marketplace, whether their cubicles are in Mesa or Mumbai.

“The biggest part of the picture is people working in their own country, but working with people from other parts of the world,” said Mansour Javidan, founder and executive director of the Najafi Global Mindset InstituteThe institute is named for Francis Najafi, a private equity executive who is a Thunderbird alum and former member of the board of trustees. He financed research and the renovation of the Yount Building on campus, which houses the institute. at the Thunderbird School of Global ManagementThe Thunderbird School of Global Management is part of Arizona State University. in Glendale.

“You can be working in Phoenix but your client happens to be in Argentina, or your strategic partners happen to be Malaysian.”

Doing business across cultures introduces a complexity that managers must be prepared to confront. How do you stimulate innovation in Russia, where the workers are used to a rigid hierarchy? How do you arrive and start managing a Danish office, where the culture doesn’t believe in bosses?

Javidan will be spreading his message to a larger audience in 2016 as the institute works with more university business schools to develop managers for companies that are increasingly seeking to sell, buy or invest across borders.

“This issue of dealing with people different from you is not an American problem, not a Russian problem, not a Chinese problem. It’s a human problem,” JavidanIn addition to heading the Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Javidan is the Garvin Distinguished Professor. said.

“It’s not about geography. It’s about the distance between your way of doing things and other people’s way of doing things.”

Cross-cultural leaders

In Turkey, business leaders are dictatorial but paternalistic.

“They are expected to take care of employees the way a father would take care of his children,” Javidan said.

“In the U.S., that relationship does not exist. In fact, if a leader behaves that way, he or she is seen as intrusive, because there is a boundary between business and personal.”

Javidan’s work at the institute is based on decades of research he has done on the cultural profilesThat ongoing work is Project GLOBE, or Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness Research Program, which Javidan worked on with dozens of other researchers around the world. One finding: Eastern European cultures are much more averse to uncertainty than western European cultures. of different countries and the attributes of successful organizational leaders.

Javidan began to work on the Global Mindset Inventory in 2004, when he came to Thunderbird.


Mansour Javidan
Mansour Javidan is founding director of the Najafi Global Mindset Institute at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.


“Thunderbird is very practically oriented. We are trying to help executives, managers and students not just learn theories and concepts but also how to apply them in the real world,” he said.

He worked with several other Thunderbird professors to determine the individual characteristics that help managers work across cultures. They spent three years doing hundreds of interviews in many countries and finally refined the result into the Global Mindset Inventory, to measure those characteristics.

The 76-item survey, taken online, measures attributes in three areas:

Intellectual capital: This includes business savvy and whether a manager can analyze and interpret information quickly. For example, an Asian manager in Cuba wanted to reward an employee, which is illegal there. But he knew that one supermarket in Havana caters only to foreigners, so he cleverly took the employee to the store and bought him a shopping cart full of merchandise.

Psychological capital: This is a personality component having to do with a person’s passion for diversity, quest for adventure and self-assurance. One example is a manager's willingness to accept new customs, such as drinking in bars with co-workers late into the night, which is common in Japan.

Social capital: This is the behavioral part, including how well the person can negotiate and build relationships. A leader might have to manage a team that includes Germans, who respect the use of formal titles, and Scandinavian people, who find titles off-putting.


Global Mindset Inventory
The Global Mindset Inventory measures personal characteristics that can determine how competent a manager would be to work across cultures.


After taking the survey, managers go through several hours of debriefing to interpret the results. They also receive a copy of “Developing Your Global Mindset: The Handbook for Successful Global Leaders,” written by Javidan and Jennie Walker, director of global learning and market development for the Najafi Global Mindset Institute. The book is loaded with ideas for improving all three areas of the mindset.

For instance, a businesswoman traveled to Argentina, where she was pointedly asked her opinion on the Malvinas Islands. She had never heard of them, but discovered that Argentina and Britain are in dispute over the islands' control, and that Argentinians have strong opinions. The lesson: Learn about local history.

Currently, about 350 people are certified to give the survey, and the institute will run two-day certification courses in January and March. The organization also offers corporate training programs, which draw participants from all over the world.

“The toughest part is the psychological side because it’s rooted in your personality, your years of development as an individual, your childhood and educational experiences and your family. It’s cumulative and that’s why it’s harder to change," Javindan said.

“You can’t teach it. You can’t run a course in passion.”

All Thunderbird students are invited to take the Global Mindset Inventory before and after their program, and they typically see big improvement in intellectual and social capital and smaller gains in psychological.

Being uncomfortable

Javidan said that one global CEO he knew described the global mindset as “being comfortable with being uncomfortable in an environment that’s uncomfortable.”

“For most normal people, our comfort zone is dealing with people like us. Deal with people different than us and we’re out of our comfort zone. The question is: What is your attitude toward that?

“Someone with a low global mindset wants to get out of it as soon as possible because the discomfort is too high. Someone with a high global mindset says, 'Wow, look at how these people do it. I’ll learn something.' "

Javidan said that Americans typically score in the middle range. Chinese and Japanese managers, whose cultures are more homogenous, have lower scores.

“Brazilian managers have higher scores because of the way they grow up,” he said. “Brazil is a real mix of everything — ethnicities, religions, languages. The typical Brazilian child grows up learning that diversity is natural.”

Javidan said that being open to interactions with other cultures is especially important in the current world climate.

“Politics that label diversity of any kind as evil can be very attractive in the short term, and be emotionally very appealing, but it can also cause a lot of damage.

“We have thousands of years of human history to teach us that.”

For information about the Global Mindset Facilitator Workshops at Thunderbird on Jan. 6-8 and March 9-11, visit this site.

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now