Today NASA released this amazing image sequence taken on July 16, captured by the DSCOVR satellite from a million miles out in space. The perspective from DSCOVR’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (a.k.a. EPIC) provides a topsy-turvy view. Here we’re seeing the moon’s far side, which earthbound skywatchers can never observe. And although it looks like a full moon, on Earth the moon was in its totally dark “new” phase.
The Americas and the Pacific Ocean are visible beneath Earth’s cloud cover. Because the moon was moving while DSCOVR acquired the data for this three-filter image, there appears to be a thin green offset on the right side of the moon’s disk, and slight red and blue offsets on the left side.
Launched in February, DSCOVR is a joint mission of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with the twin objectives of making climate observations and keeping watch for incoming solar storms. But when DSCOVR goes into full operation next month and starts sending back near-real-time images, we can expect to see a new-moon photobomb roughly twice a year.