Chinese satellite captures stunning backside image of the Moon with Earth

Image: Dwingeloo Radio Observatory

A Chinese satellite currently in lunar orbit snapped this incredible image of the far side of the Moon, with a tiny Earth hanging out in the background. Captured on February 3rd, the picture offers a rare perspective of the Earth and Moon system together.

The image was taken by China’s Longjiang-2 satellite, which entered the Moon’s orbit in June 2018. This tiny probe was launched into space along with China’s Queqiao satellite, a communications probe that’s been critical for the country’s recent Chang’e-4 lunar lander. At the beginning of the year, Chang’e-4 successfully touched down on the far side of the Moon — the side that’s always facing away from Earth. Queqiao is located in a stable position near the Moon, where it relays radio signals from Longjiang-2 and the Chang’e-4 lander to Earth.

Longjiang-2 actually had a companion satellite, Longjiang-1, and both were tasked with orbiting and observing the Moon. But China ultimately lost contact with Longjiang-1 en route. Luckily, Longjiang-2 was a success, and it took some stunning pictures last fall.

During the Chang’e-4 landing, the satellite was silent so that it wouldn’t interfere with communications between the Earth and the lander. But Longjiang-2 is active again. The probe started taking a time-lapse of the Earth-Moon system on February 3rd, and the first photo of that sequence was downloaded by the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory in the Netherlands yesterday.

This is the first time that Longjiang-2 has captured the entire Moon and Earth in one shot. Now that it’s taking pics again, hopefully there are even more stunning images to come.

Comments

Chinese satellite captures stunning backside image of the Moon with Earth

Geez, at least tag it NSFW next time!

You clicked on an article about mooning and thought it was going to be SFW? Some people, I tell ya…

I can’t wait to see how much this image upsets certain communities online…

You mean the stupids?

That would be nice, but they’ll just decide it’s a hoax and ignore it.

NOW CHINA IS INVOLVED IN THE HOAX?!?!

THE WHOLE WORLD HAS COME TOGETHER TO LIE TO THE POPULATION FOR VERY REAL AND SINISTER AND REAL REASONS.

POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL ENEMIES WORKING TOGETHER CAN ONLY MEAN ONE THING, ONE VERY REAL AND SINISTER THING, WHICH IS DEFINITELY VERY REAL!

Save the picture and zoom in on the earth in a dark room. See the dark blue square? Congrats you just debunked it.

Do yourselves a favor like I did. Copy this picture to your phone/computer and zoom in on the earth in a dark room. See the dark bluish square around it? I do Photoshop art and painting. This is pure Photoshopped.

Exactly, the stupids.

"Dahuur. The earth is flat and the moon landing was faked." lol.

But that is the truth! Just look at the pics, you can tell you’re looking at two flat discs.

OMG…that picture is proof that the earth is flat…i mean just look at that picture…its perfectly flat!
/s

Do yourself a favor like I did. Copy this picture to your phone/computer and zoom in on the earth in a dark room. See the dark bluish square around it. You just debunked it. Fake

i cannot tell from the PIC what part of Earth is facing the Camera… Anyone know?

According to Twitter user @bg2bhc, It’s South America

its the flat side
/s

The Earth looks a lot brighter than the Moon there even though the Moon is closer and both should be facing the Sun and the camera. Could it be because of the atmosphere of the Earth that makes light rays more amplified?

The Moon is actually very dark, being approximately as reflective as road asphalt. The Earth is mostly water, ice, and clouds, which is very reflective.

In technical terms, the ratio of incident light to reflected light is called albedo. The moon reflects 12% of the sunlight that hits it, or has an albedo of 0.12. The Earth has an average albedo of about 0.3, or some 3 times brighter than the Moon, but if there is a lot of cloud cover it can be even higher than that.

Since we’re being technical and correct: That’s about two times brighter, not three.

God I love the comment sections!

Well done friend

It’s the dark side of the moon, how is any light being captured? What is the light reflecting off of?

"There is no dark side of the moon. Matter of fact, it’s all dark."

The Sun is obviously behind the satellite that took this photo.

duh, I was thinking about this from the earth perspective. So I guess that mean when Superman left that guy on the dark side of the moon, it actually wasn’t going to work that well

Wow. I never knew the Moon was that big.

Obviously fake, the Earth is at least the same size as the moon, if not a little bigger because of the mountains. Omg, China, stop lying!

Awesome job there China
ps. This side look pretty boring though.

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