In the image, the Moon is seen moving across the face of sunlit Earth. For the second time in a year, the NASA camera aboard the DSCOVR satellite has captured such a stunning image.
NASA's camera on board DSCOVR satellite has captured a unique view of the moon as it transits the sunlit side of the Earth. This kind of image was taken earlier this year too where the moon was right in between the satellite and the Earth and has taken a stroll across its face. Though, they are calling it moon photobombing the Earth, the unexpected appearance of the moon has not spoiled the photograph, in fact, it has made it really special.
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“For the second time in the life of DSCOVR, the moon moved between the spacecraft and Earth. The project recorded this event on July 5 with the same cadence and spatial resolution as the first 'lunar photobomb' of last year.” Adam Szabo, a scientist from DSCOVR project said.
The image was captured by NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite and shows the far side of the Moon, illuminated by the Sun, as it moves in front of the Earth. The far side of the moon was not visible until 1959 when a Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 beamed back the first ever images of this side. Since then, several NASA spacecraft have captured the lunar far side in great detail.
DSCOVR or Deep Space Climate Observatory was launched in 2015 and is orbiting 1 million miles away from Earth while EPIC installed on satellite is on a mission to capture high resolution images of entire sunlit Earth as it rotates. Data from EPIC has been used for scientific analysis of ozone, vegetation, cloud height and aerosols in the atmosphere.
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The image is actually developed by stitching together three separate images taken in quick succession. The final product shows the moon crossing Indian and Pacific Ocean. The North Pole is at the top of the image and reflects the orbital tilt of Earth from the vintage point of the spacecraft.