Jumat, 21 Agustus 2015

Article#454 - Vantage

Do you notice how the Moon looks dark compared to the Earth, or the Moon we used to see at nighttime? Well, the Moon really is that "dark"; it only reflects about 12% of the light it receives.
Do you notice the lack of dark patches on the Moon's surface as we know it? Well, because it really is not the lunar face as we know it. Here, guys, the Moons shows you its far side—or, as some of you might prefer to call it, its dark side. Which is really not "dark" in any way.
And of course, the most obvious: It revolves around the Earth!

Some of the most intriguing questions in science are those seems to be so obvious, people do not bother questioning it anymore. For instance, we may consider the fact of the Moon orbiting Earth as an "obvious" statement, especially considering how we got really used to the concepts of lunar phases during schooltime. However, as obvious as it might seem, our understanding of it may have been very vague, as most of us do not obtain enough perspectives when staying on Earth's surface.

The newly launched DSCOVR satellite (Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy), albeit was not launched for such purposes, provided itself to be an useful tool in helping us puny humans understanding the motions.
Situated on a location known as Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), about 1,5 million kilometers from Earth, DSCOVR occassionally acquires a nice view of the Moon transiting Earth, once in about six months. From about four times further than the Moon is from Earth, DSCOVR is conveniently placed to capture the images of Moon passing over Earth within several hours. Something that is actually is not in DSCOVR's to-do list.

But, well, this kind of vantage point is not bad at all, right?

image source 1
image source 2

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