The so-called dark side of the moon was observed from another perspective. Beautiful images of the dark side of the moon were captured by a camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite.
The series of test images shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.
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 conducts its primary mission of real-time solar wind monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said the photos come to show brilliant planet Earth is.
He said: “It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon.”
“Our planet is a truly brilliant object in dark space compared to the lunar surface.”
EPIC maintains a constant view of the fully illuminated Earth as it rotates, providing scientific observations of ozone, vegetation, cloud height and aerosols in the atmosphere.
Once EPIC begins regular observations next month, the camera will provide a series of Earth images allowing study of daily variations over the entire globe.
About twice a year the camera will capture the moon and Earth together as the orbit of DSCOVR crosses the orbital plane of the moon.
These images were taken between 3:50 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. EDT on July 16, showing the moon moving over the Pacific Ocean near North America.
Once EPIC begins regular observations next month, NASA will post daily color images of Earth to a dedicated public website.
These images, showing different views of the planet as it rotates through the day, will be available 12 to 36 hours after they are acquired.