The Moon ‘Photobombs’ Earth In Stunning NASA Image
It seems that it's not only us earthlings that have gotten into the photobomb craze; celestial bodies are into it too. Or more specifically, the Moon! A new image release by NASA shows the Moon photobombing high resolution photos of the Earth.
— NASA (@NASA) July 11, 2016
While analyzing images captured by NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite on July 4th, operators reportedly came across stunning shots that showed our natural satellite moving in front of the Earth, and the bright sunlight reflecting that side added to the photo. "For the second time in the life of DSCOVR, the moon moved between the spacecraft and Earth," said Adam Szabo from NASA. "The project recorded this event on July 5 with the same cadence and spatial resolution as the first 'lunar photobomb' of last year". You can also see the North Pole on top of the images.
The DSCOVR orbits 1 million miles from our planet, around the sun-Earth first Lagrange point in an orbit that shifts back and forth between an ellipse to a circle, and this particular orbit crosses the lunar orbit four times every year. Incidentally, the Lagrange point is the area where the earth's gravitational pull is equal and opposite to that of the sun. However, the Moon appears between the spacecraft and our planet only once or twice every year, depending on the relative orbital phases of DSCOVR and the Moon.
The last time NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured such images were in July 16th 2015. The Epic is a four megapixel camera and telescope that is a part of the DSCOVR satellite, whose primary work is to monitor real time solar wind for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and provides a lineup of Earth images that allow researchers to analyze global daily variations. The satellite also gives us critical advance warnings of solar outbursts that could hinder life on our planet. The satellite constantly observes our fully lit planet as it rotates, and sends back crucial data pertaining to aerosols, cloud height, vegetation and ozone in the atmosphere.