Stunning Image Of Moon's Rear Side Captured By Chinese Satellite

Mindy Sparks
February 6, 2019

A Chinese satellite now orbiting the moon has captured a handsome photo showing both the far side (AKA dark side) of the Moon as well as planet Earth in the background. The Dutch Dwingeloo Radio Telescope downloaded it at the agonizing speed of less than one kilobyte per minute.

The photo was taken with a camera linked to an amateur radio transceiver on board the Chinese DSLWP-B/Longjiang-2 satellite. But as the image shows, the moon's far side is often illuminated by the sun, exposing the impact-blasted, grey lunar desert. It's now in orbit around the Moon and it entered the orbit back in Jube 2018.

The tiny imaging satellite was sent into space as part of China's Chang'e-4 mission preparations. 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.

Queqiao is now located in a stable position near the Moon. Longjiang-2 has been a success, although during the Chang'e-4 landing the satellite was silent in order to not interfere with communications between the Earth and the lander. As for the photo of the Earth and the "dark side of the Moon", it was transmitted back to Earth and received with the Dwingeloo Telescope.

Last month, China landed on the seldom-seen far side of the moon that never faces our planet.

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