NASA's Camera Captured The Moon Crossing The Face Of Earth

The moon revealed a different side of itself last week, a sight we haven't glimpsed for about a year.

Last week, the moon passed between Earth and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite, allowing the latter to snap a unique shot of the "dark side" of our cratered friend.

NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), situated aboard the DSCOVR satellite, took these unique images over a period of about four hours. According to NASA, these images are rare because they show the far side of the moon, which cannot be seen from the Earth's surface. (This isn't because the moon doesn't rotate, though — the moon has a synchronous rotation with its orbit around the Earth, so, to us, it only looks like the moon isn't rotating.)

EPIC normally records images for NASA and NOAA that inspect the earth's ozone levels, solar winds, vegetation, and cloud height, among other features of the Earth’s atmosphere. Because of the location of DSCOVR’s orbit path, the moon is only captured by EPIC like this once or twice a year.
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These most recent images of the moon’s backside were captured between July 4 at 11:50 p.m. EDT and July 5 at 3:18 a.m. EDT. Here you can see it traveling over the Indian and Pacific oceans. The last time the moon photobombed EPIC’s pictures of Earth was about a year ago, on July 16, 2015.

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