The moon is Earth’s closest celestial partner. As such, our planet’s natural satellite provides us with the most intimate information about outer space that can be afforded. Now, NASA has just seen the long-awaited launch of its sophisticated James Webb Space Telescope. Simultaneously, it makes plans for the decommissioning of the International Space Station. Amid these historic events, images captured by a camera on board NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory collected images that show the moon crossing Earth’s path.
As Outsiders likely know, we only ever see the same side of the moon. The “dark side,” or more aptly, the “far side,” has always presented us with a host of questions, namely regarding its appearance.
Now, as the above clips shows the moon crossing Earth’s path, we can finally catch a glimpse of what lies on the other side of our planet’s moon.
Earth Imaging Technology Captures ‘Dark Side’ of the Moon
According to SciTechDaily, despite the marvel of the above clip, the video isn’t new. The astonishing images of the moon crossing Earth’s path were actually captured six years ago. Further, the 2015 images are noteworthy as Outsiders bound to Earth will never see the moon’s far side.
SciTechDaily states this happens as a result of “tidal locking.” This phenomenon occurs when one celestial object takes the same amount of time to rotate on its axis as it does to circle its partner. This is why we only ever see the same side of our Moon.
Interestingly, the viral images were not the intent of the Deep Space Climate Inventory. Instead, the camera which captured the moon’s far side is used to monitor solar winds for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The camera that captured this fascinating view of the moon takes an average of just 13-22 images per day.
One of Saturn’s Satellites May Host an Entire Ocean
While our planet’s natural satellite continues to offer ample opportunities for close exploration as scientists work to send humans to the moon again, one of Saturn’s natural satellites may hide an entire ocean beneath its surface.
Scientists state Mimas, one of Saturn’s most unique moons, may potentially hold mass quantities of water. Further, Mimas is hardly the gas giant’s most attractive or largest satellite, as others boast colors and more distinguishing landscapes.
However, what makes Mimas unique is its orbital pattern. As it circles Saturn, Mimas undergoes a kind of stretch and pull, creating consistent “tidal heating” which can result in large amounts of water.
This distinguishes Mimas from Saturn’s other moons as it provides life-giving opportunities. So far, scientists have discovered zero proof of life on or beneath the moon’s surface. However, NASA did state, “Water is at the top of the list of ingredients that make life possible.”
The agency added, “Tidal heating could be powering a system that cycles water and nutrients between the moon’s rocky interior, ice shell, and ocean, creating a watery environment rich with chemistry conducive to life.”