NASA just released this incredible photo of the dark side of the moon that is impossible to see from here on Earth.
The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite that launched in February has travelled one million miles from Earth, and from there it captured a whole video of the dark side of the moon passing in front of Earth:
The moon appears to have a green tinge on the right side because the video combines a series of images taken at different exposures with different spectral filters.
We can’t ever see this side of the moon because it rotates on its axis exactly once each time it completes a lap around Earth:
So the same side of the moon is always facing Earth.
The moon is slightly tilted on its axis and it orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, so occasionally we get small glimpses beyond the Earth-facing half. But those extra peeks only add up to about 9% of the moon’s total surface area.
The other 41% is always hidden from Earth:
This isn’t our first glance at the dark side of the moon — starting with the Russian Luna 3 spacecraft in 1959, we’ve been able to map the dark side of the moon with satellite imagery. But DSCOVR’s view is still pretty magnificent:
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