This image shows the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away. CREDIT Credits: NASA/NOAA

NASA Captures Dark Side of Moon, from Nearest Distance Ever

A NASA camera aboard the DSCOVR) satellite captured the “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth  from the nearest distance ever taken, at a distance of one million miles away.

The images were captured by Deep Space Climate Observatory’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).

moon2EPIC captures the moon twice a year with 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.

The far side of the moon was not seen until 1959 when the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft returned unexplored dark side of the moon as the same side of the moon always faces an earthbound observer because the moon is tidally locked to Earth.

In May 2008 NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft captured a similar view of Earth and the moon from a distance of 31 million miles away and the latest image is taken from 1 million, the nearest ever image taken.

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