Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Chinese Satellite Reveals Image of Moon’s Far Side and Earth Together

Dr David Parker the director of human and robotic exploration at ESA says that the lunar campaign’s ultimate mission would be to see if a permanent human moon base can be established. Image credit- ESA This Photo Shows the Dark Side of the Moon and Earth in the Same Shot
Sandy Nunez | 08 February, 2019, 00:20

The image above was snapped by a camera aboard the Chinese DSLWP-B / Longjiang-2 satellite on February 4.

It lost its twin satellite Longjiang-1 back in May 2018 when it spun off and lost contact with the Chinese National Space Administration back on Earth. From here, it relays radio signals from Longjiang-2 and the Chang'e 4 lander back to Earth.

The Moon dominates the night sky and, as the closest large body to Earth, we get to see it plenty. In January the Chang'e-4 successfully touched down on the far side of the Moon - the side that's always facing away from Earth.

The Longjiang-2 satellite entered the Moon's orbit in June 2018 and was launched along with China's Queqiao communications probe, which has been critical for the country's recent Chang'e-4 lunar lander.

Among other instruments, the microsatellite contains a tiny radio transmitter with a webcam the size of a smartphone camera, Tammo Jan Dijkema, an engineer with the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, explained in an interview with the Dutch news network RTV.

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He also shared the original image of a much more violet-looking moon and Earth. The photo "has a purple haze to it due to the hard photo environment in space", Tammo Jan Dijkema, an engineer with the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, told Space.com.

A Chinese satellite swooped behind the moon and snapped a shot of two worlds: the heavily-cratered moon, and in the distance, the cloud-covered planet Earth.

China's space agency launched Queqiiao to enable communication between the ground controllers and the Chang'e-4 spacecraft, which it landed on the "dark side" of the Moon last month.

An annotated image from China's Longjiang-2 microsatellite shows the names of the craters on the far side of the moon.