NASA EPIC satellite captures rare images of dark side of the moon

NASA had released an animation of the other side of the moon as it transits the Earth on Wednesday. It is rare episode especially for a common earthling. NASA created a series of images obtained from DSCOVR’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope.

These images were taken on June 16 between 3.50 p.m. & 8.45p.m. ET. Currently, DSCOVR is located almost a million miles away from Earth and serves as a beacon warning when harmful solar radiation is heading our way.

The other side of the moon was not visible till the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft that was launched in 1959 and beamed back the images for the first time.

The other side of the moon is never visible from Earth. The DSCOVR or the Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite has the NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), installed and has captured images of the fully illuminated ‘dark side’ of the moon.

The camera captured the images when the dark side of the moon was moving through the sunlit side of the Earth last month.

The images also reveal that the satellite is moving over the Pacific Ocean near North America. EPIC is always focused on the illuminated side of the Earth as it rotates.

Adam Szabo, who is the DSCOVR project scientist with the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Maryland, said that the Earth looked much brighter than the moon. Adam found the Earth a truly brilliant object in the dark space as compared to the lunar surface.

Earlier in 2012, NASA’s Gravity Recovery & Interior Laboratory lunar spacecraft sent back spectacular view of the far side of the moon, which also included both the poles as the spacecraft flew over them.

In 1968, astronauts from the Apollo 8 mission became the first humans to see the other side of the moon when they orbited the moon. The other side of the moon is topographically dissimilar than the visible side of the moon. There are no dark and basaltic plains that are prominent on the visible side of the moon.