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NASA Scores Rarely Seen View of the Moon

From a million miles away, no less
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2015 12:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – NASA has a new toy in space, and it's already delivered an awe-inspiring view of the moon and Earth. The space agency has produced a GIF—see it here—of the moon passing in front of our planet. A few things make it unique: The view is taken from a million miles away, courtesy of the DISCOVR satellite that launched in February, and it gives us a good look at the "dark side of the moon"—the side we never see from Earth, explains Time. "The resulting GIF is so amazing that it's almost unbelievable," observes a post at the Verge.

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The images also reinforce something we Earthlings tend to forget: "At night, with nothing to challenge it, the Moon looks incredibly bright, but in reality the surface is quite gray," writes Phil Plait at Slate. The new satellite's main job is to collect weather data, notes the Washington Post, which points out a hurricane off the coast of Mexico in the GIF, but occasional images like these will emerge. “It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon,” says a NASA scientist on the project. “Our planet is a truly brilliant object in dark space compared to the lunar surface.” (Click to read about Buzz Aldrin's weird travel voucher after his moon voyage.)

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