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Moon Photobombs Earth in NASA Video

Jul 13, 2016 04:10 AM EDT

NASA and many other organization in the world are continuously monitoring the Earth and other celestial bodies by way of taking videos and photographs, the most visual way of studying the bodies. But the recent footage of the Earth was photobombed by no other the moon in what can be called as an “out-of-this-world” photobomb incident.

The Earth Poluchromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four-megapixel CCD camera and telescope aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured the footage showing a rare lunar transit across the Earth in clear sunlight. Lunar transit is when the moon passes across the Earth. The images were captured between July 4 and July 5 showing a partially lit moon. 

Although lunar transits are rare, it is the second time it was photographed by the DSCOVR satellite where a celestial photobombed was captured perfectly in the frame. The first one happened almost exactly the same date last year on July 16, 2015.

"For the second time in the life of DSCOVR, the moon moved between the spacecraft and Earth," Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist said in a statement. "The project recorded this event on July 5 with the same cadence and spatial resolution as the first 'lunar photobomb' of last year,” Szabo added. 

The DSCOVR is a NOAA satellite and is one of the many equipment geared towards monitoring the face of the Earth and the sun, and it is located one million miles away from the planet. The DSCOVR is designed to monitor solar wind activities real time. 

With the DSCOVR capabilities, it helps the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to predict space weather behaviors and provide warnings if necessary. DSCOVR is positioned on the Lagrange point of the sun and Earth where the gravitational pull of the Earth is equal and opposite of the Sun’s pull. Its orbit is also unique, it follows a non-recurring orbit that changes between an ellipse to a circle and then vice-versa. 

“DSCOVR will be our eyes in the sun and give us early warning when it detects a surge of energy that could trigger a geomagnetic storm destined for Earth,” Dr. Stephen Volz, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service said in a statement published by TechCrunch

The DSCOVR satellite will continue to monitor celestial bodies to study their behavior and probably capture another out-of-this-world photobomber once again.


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