If you’ve ever wondered, “Is there any picture of the other side of the moon?” you’re not alone. The answer to this question has been a mystery for decades, but Chinese scientists have finally cracked the code. In this special image, the far side of the Moon is visible in all its glory, with the Earth dwarfed by its tiny size. The incredible picture is a rare look at our moon and planet system as a whole.
The images below are a result of NASA’s Luna 3 mission, which took 29 images of the other side of the Moon. Although they were noisy and blurry, they revealed a previously unseen part of the moon. The images, which were processed and sent back to Earth, also revealed a much less volcanic plain than scientists had imagined. The images also prompted scientists to rethink existing theories on lunar evolution.
The Soviet Union took the first photo of the far side of the moon, and it was not very dark. It was also the first time that a color image of the Moon’s surface had ever been captured. In fact, China’s Chang’e-4 probe, which was launched in 2005, returned high-resolution color images of the Moon’s surface. The Chinese space program made this possible, and it’s a stunning example of what humankind can achieve.
The DSCOVR camera will take images twice a year as it crosses the lunar orbital plane. These images will pick up features of the moon’s surface that cannot be seen from Earth. DSCOVR images will pick up features like the 44-mile-wide Jackson Crater and the “Sea of Moscow,” which formed from an ancient volcanic eruption. The images will be almost as rare as the picture of the moon during a solar eclipse.