Space scientists refer to it as the dark side of the moon because it is often hidden from people on Earth as well as from the satellites.
The photos of the other side which is partially illuminated by the sunlight will usually be captured once every two years. It is when the NASA satellites orbiting the space atmosphere enter an altitude where it is possible to capture the earth and moon, at once. The rare occurrence happened this July when a new picture was captured. It was such a surprise for the scientists because the so-called “dark side” was brightly lit and showcased perfect details of the moon like never before.
Deep Space Climate Observatory, shortly known as DSCOVR is the one behind this amazing photograph. The satellite controlled by the observatory traveled a long distance, more than 1.6 million miles away from Earth so that it could witness the moon on the other side. Dozens of images were captured in this flight which were later snapped into a single GIF image for the viewing pleasure of billions of people on the planet.
The time is really short as it takes a couple of seconds for the moon to pass earth, but it is an epic shot that breaks many myths. NASA scientists who work with DSCOVR are responsible for sending images every day to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA. The organization is responsible of using those images to predict plenty of daily activities including the weather, vegetation, atmospheric changes and air pressure on Earth. The Earth shots will be captured regularly by an Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, simply known as EPIC.
The 4-megapixel EPIC shot the images of the moon passing the planet through the Pacific side. Based on the position of the North Pole, it is evident that the entire planet tilts to gargantuan levels during this time of the year. Thanks to gravitational pull, people are still on the surface and don’t fall off during this massive tilt.
Libration is a phenomenon which makes at least 18 percent of the dark side visible. However, it is well-lit by sunlight and doesn’t have any dark areas. Researchers concluded that the name is derived from the fact that it is an unexplored part of the moon and is completely invisible to Earth. The satellite took the shot from a 31-million distance and 3 monochrome layers are used to make it look brighter on the GIF, they added.