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Watch video: NASA reveals the mysterious 'dark side' of the moon

Shweta Sengar | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:34 IST

Those dwelling on Earth have never seen the dark side of the moon.

However, from a million miles away, a NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has captured a breathtaking view of the moon during its transit of the Earth.

The series of photographs combined in to a video reveal the dark side of the moon which is hardly visible from the Earth.

The thin dark line on the right side of the moon is its shadow.

One prominent feature of the dark side is the absence of Maria or large and dark basaltic plains which are so prominent on the earth facing side.

"It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon. Our planet is a truly brilliant object in dark space compared to the lunar surface," said said Adam Szabo, project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured these stunning images via a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope on the DSCOVR satellite which is orbiting 1 lakh kilometres from Earth.

Watch video:

This animation features actual satellite images of the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away.

NASA says that these images were taken between 3:50 pm and 8:45 pm EDT on 16 July. In the video, the moon is moving over the Pacific Ocean near North America. Interestingly, the North Pole is visible in the upper left corner, reflecting the orbital tilt of the Earth.

The dark side of the moon was not seen until 1959 when Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first images to Earth.

First published: 7 August 2015, 11:14 IST
 
Shweta Sengar @ShwetaSengar

Shweta covers Science & Technology for Catch Live at Catch News, scouring the Internet to bring readers items of interest, both serious and amusing. A foodie, photography enthusiast and globetrotter, she has also worked at The Economic Times before joining the Catch team. She studied Commerce at Kanpur University and has a PGD in Advanced Journalism from YMCA, New Delhi.

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