The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a picture taken from its Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite showing the moon as it moves in front of the sunlit side of Earth. The images revealed the proverbial darker side of the moon.
Image taken by DSCOVR satellite | Source: Screen grab from YouTube
As per the reports of NASA , the images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite orbiting 1 million miles from Earth.
From its position between the sun and Earth, DSCOVR conducted its primary mission of real-time solar wind monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These images were taken between 3:50 pm and 8:45 pm EDT.
Earthlings can only view one side of the moon because it is tidally locked to Earth, by which it means the orbital period of Earth is the same as its rotation around its axis. The last time the images of the far side of the moon were seen was during the Soviet mission in 1959.
“It’s unusual because you need a spacecraft that has gone beyond the moon to get a picture of the moon like this. This was taken around one million miles from Earth. We don’t normally get that perspective. Because of its mission, this spacecraft is in a sweet spot directly in the direction of the sunlit Earth, meaning it’s seeing a completely sunlit moon, too. You get a whole new perspective on the moon. It looks very different from the side we see from Earth," said Michael Brown, an astronomer and Associate Professor at Monash University to The Guardian .
Take a quick look of the 'EPIC' view: