NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured the furthest side of the moon as it crosses in front of the Earth. The satellite was placed around 1 million miles from Earth on July 16. NASA released a gif image which shows the moon drifting between EPIC and Earth, crossing over the Pacific Ocean near North America.
Since the moon is tidally locked to the planet, the same face is always positioned to the earth. Therefore, it was not possible to see the dark side of the moon.
The first images of the far side of the moon were captured during a Soviet mission in 1959.
Observations started this September; EPIC, a four-megapixel camera and telescope orbiting 1 million miles away from Earth, is mounted onto the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite.
“It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon,” said Adam Szabo, a scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “Our planet is a truly brilliant object in dark space compared to the lunar surface.”
“This was taken around one million miles from Earth. We don’t normally get that perspective,” said Associate Professor Michael Brown, an astronomer at Monash University.
Image: Via NASA/NOAA