NASA has just released an incredible view of the sunlit far side of the Moon transiting the sunlit side of Earth. It was captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera from a million miles away. For the tech geeks out there, EPIC is basically a 4-megapixel CCD camera and telescope mounted on the DSCOVR spacecraft orbiting at the L1 Lagrange Point – a neutral gravity point that lies on the direct line between Earth and the sun. The images above were taken between 3:50 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. EDT on July 16, showing the moon moving over the Pacific Ocean near North America. Continue reading for a fascinating video on Earth’s second moon, Cruithne.
“What you might not know is that the moon is not the Earth’s only natural satellite. As recently as 1997, we discovered that another body, 3753 Cruithne, is what’s called a quasi-orbital satellite of Earth. This simply means that Cruithne doesn’t loop around the Earth in a nice ellipse in the same way as the moon, or indeed the artificial satellites we loft into orbit. Instead, Cruithne scuttles around the inner solar system in what’s called a ‘horseshoe’ orbit,” according to Discover Magazine.