A NASA camera a million miles away captured the (otherwise unseen) far side of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth.
The world has seen its share of funny photobombs, everything from celebrities and seals to snowy owls have made uninvited guest appearances in people's photos, leading to no end of silly situations. But how often do we get to see a surprise cameo by our planet's very own natural satellite?
That's what happened when NASA's EPIC camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite was taking photos of our blue orb from 1 million miles away. The moon traipsed between the spacecraft and the planet, resulting in a stunning glimpse of the far side of the moon – a view never seen from our terrestrial vantage point.
"For the second time in the life of DSCOVR, the moon moved between the spacecraft and Earth,” says Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The project recorded this event on July 5 with the same cadence and spatial resolution as the first ‘lunar photobomb’ of last year."
While doing its job of real-time solar wind monitoring for NOAA, the spacecraft moonlighted, so to speak, in snapping these images over a period of about four hours. In the set, the far side of the moon passes by as the Earth does its thing, rotating with a view of Australia and the Pacific at first and gradually revealing Asia and Africa.
Watch it below, and for more on the technology used, read the NASA story here.