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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 17 12:01 AM

November 17th, 2015: The Dark Side of The Moon

Pretty picture of the blue marble... hey wait, is that a Death Star?

Nope, just the Moon passing by. Whew, that's a relief... but, but, how did they do that? The camera is over the Moon, and don't tell me a cow took it.
Phil Plait says...

The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February. It was put into an orbit around the Sun that’s about 1.5 million kilometers smaller than Earth’s, in a direction toward the Sun. This region of space is called the first Lagrange point, or L1 point, and due to a quirk of gravity this is a stable configuration, like sitting in the trough between two hills. At this spot, DSCOVR points toward the Earth with the Sun behind the satellite, so it perpetually sees the sunlit day-side of the Earth.

The bottom line is, they finally put up a satellite that will do something more than entertaining scientists with new data.
This one will do something for us rabble, this one will watch for Death Stars. I'm so relieved.

Happy Monkey  Tuesday Nov 17 10:37 AM

Huh. The dark side of the moon is surprisingly dark, even in direct sunlight.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 17 12:14 PM

Yes, that side has few outstanding features, plus...

As a scientist I can’t help but notice how gray the Moon looks compared to the intense blue of our atmosphere. Note how dim and dark the Moon is as well; on average it reflects about a third as much sunlight as the Earth does, making it appear dusky compared to our bright, shiny planet.

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