NASA has released a new sequence of images offering a rare, and incredible, look at the moon passing in front of the sunlit side of Earth. The images, which NASA ever so kindly shared as a GIF, the internet’s favorite format, are impressive in that they clearly depict the relationship between our planet and the lunar surface, with the comparison revealing just how bring Earth really is. Also impressive is the fact that the photos were captured from about 1 millions miles away.
The images were taken from NASA’s DSCOVR satellite, which launched in February, by the EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera). This is the same camera that captured the recent image of Earth with a stunning blue hue, the first photo of our planet to be taken from the 1 million mile distance.
NASA says the images show the moon while it was over the Pacific Ocean near North America, and were taken on July 16th from 3:50 PM to 8:45 PM Eastern.
NASA also highlights the importance of seeing the “dark side” of the moon, or the far side that faces away from the Earth. The moon’s “orbital period is the same as its rotation around its axis,” which means that only one side of the moon is ever facing Earth. The side captured in NASA’s new photos cannot be seen from our planet.
Click or tap the image above to see the full-sized photo shared by NASA.
DSCOVR is set to begin its regular mission in September, which will include daily images of Earth from EPIC. NASA says it will be sharing these photos publicly on its website within 12 to 36 hours after arriving from space.