This Is Real: NASA Camera – A Million Miles Away – Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth

This animation features actual satellite images of the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) and telescope, and the Earth – one million miles away. Credit: NASA/NOAA

Although it looks fake, this viral footage of the Moon orbiting Earth is actually real. It’s just not new, despite making the rounds again this week; it actually was captured over 6 years ago.

Back in 2015, a NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) captured this unique series of images displaying the ‘dark side’ of the moon. The ‘dark side’ of the moon is often used to refer to the hemisphere of the moon that is facing away from Earth. However, it is more properly called the ‘far side’ as it is exposed to an equal amount of sunlight as the side facing Earth. We can never view the ‘far side’ from Earth due to a phenomenon called tidal locking, which occurs when an astronomical body takes the same amount of time to complete a full rotation around its axis and fully orbit around its partner.

Although DSCOVR’s primary purpose is to monitor solar winds for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the satellite also houses NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) which captured these images. This four-megapixel CCD camera and telescope maintains a constant view of Earth as it orbits and takes 13-22 images every day.

In order to capture Earth’s ‘natural color’, NASA combines three different monochrome exposures taken 30 seconds apart. The final combined image has a slight green offset to the right of the moon and thin blue and red offsets to the left of it which is due to the Moon’s movement between each exposure.

If you wish to view more images taken by EPIC, NASA publishes daily color images of different views of the Earth as it rotates throughout the day.

Comments ( 39 )
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  • ciclamio barreto

    A very beautiful gift to flat-earthers.

  • Mike Curley

    NASA released an animation of what they want you to see! An animation is not real!

  • Wanless Southwick

    Can’t be real, because earth rotates on its tilted axis about 28 times while the moon is making just one orbit around the earth. This animation shows the moon orbiting as fast as the earth rotates.

    • Peter

      See explanation below, Feb 7, 8.34

  • Johnny Bewdaa

    Lol, am I the only one who “read” the article and that the image is an animation from alleged pics?

    Just show us the real picture!!

  • Frank M

    But the satellite taking the picture is moving, too. It’s in orbit around us, not just sitting there stationary at a fixed point while everything spins below it. Sheesh, people – “maintains a constant view of Earth as it orbits.” IT orbits. Lol? Good heavens, guys…

  • Itsflat

    LMAO! If anyone believes this is real I feel sorry for them. If the Earth rotates at 1000+ mph, then how fast is the moon going? Lmao. Fake.

    • Peter

      See below, Feb 7

  • harrty

    Where is the real pic?

  • RN

    I can’t believe how stupid some of these comments are. People that know nothing of tidal bodies are saying fake without even understanding what happens.

  • Nik

    Where are the stars.
    Sick of the CGI space nonsense you people are pure evil

    • TL Smith

      And out come the flerfers.

  • Educated Non-Editor

    Here we go again: “Dark Side of the Moon” Get this straight please!
    The correct expression is “The Far Side of the Moon” Every side of the moon is lit with sunlight 13 times each year. There is no permananent “Dark Side of the Moon”
    The editor has “Pink Floyditis”

  • Peter

    Frank M, This satellite is orbiting the sun, not the Earth, at the L1 Lagrange point, where given the net gravitational pull of the sun and earth it has an orbital period of one year, same as the Earth.

  • Peter

    The moon is 240,000 miles from the Earth. The first linked article mentions the images were taken over about five hours. So the arc length traversed by the moon is about 240000*2*3.14 *5/24/27 miles = 11600 miles. The satellite is 750,000 miles from the moon so the moon traverses arc subtending 11600/750000 = 0.0155 radians (or 0.0.155 / (2 pi) *360 degrees = 0.89) degrees ) from the viewpoint of the satellite. Viewed from the satellite the Earth subtends an arc of 8000 miles / 1000000 miles = .008 radians. So the moon appears to traverse a bit under twice the diameter of the earth in this view in 5 hours.
    In 5 hours the Earth rotates by 75 degrees, which seems roughly consistent with observed motion of North America in these images.

  • Peter

    Itsflat, so to answer your question directly the moon is going at 240,000 miles *2*3.14 / (27*24 hours) = about 2300 miles per hour.

  • Airhead

    Wheres planet x? Should be right behind the moon.

  • Peter

    Nik, The stars are much fainter than the earth at this distance (1000000 Miles) using an exposure long enough to see the stars which vastly over saturate the image of the earth. See for example this article which discusses how you can’t take a picture of both moon and stars from earth (and if you don’t believe him get your camera and try doing it yourself next clear night).

  • James

    Looks like the moon’s not rotating as it passes?

    • Peter

      Moon takes 27 days to rotate, so in 5 hours it turns .0077 of full rotation or about 2.5 degrees.

  • Meremortal

    Fake and you don’t even get to see the entire image because they put a stupid ad that intrudes from the bottom.

    scitechdaily goes on the “don’t bother” list.

    • Meremortal = Merely uneducated

      Please don’t add to the discussion. Please. thanks.

  • Frank

    Have you guys never heard of a time lapse video?

  • Jon Dickson

    I know this is fake because where is Jesus and the pearly gates? Outrageous lies.

  • Ryan

    It’s because the Earth is FLAT

  • Dana Wright

    Actual photos time lapsed into a video for illustration purposes. Does any body read anymore?

  • Nate

    If you’re CLOSER to the moon than the earth, the moon is going to be MUCH larger. From this perspective, the earth would be COMPLETELY covered by the mass of the moon. The moon isn’t a small rock that’s like a mile out from Earth’s atmosphere, it’s a massive object a quarter the size of our planet and it’s overr a QUARTER MILLION MILES AWAY. How does it look this small compared to Earth while traversing it? This is an absurd CGI rendering of supposedly “real” photographs and in NO WAY should be called ‘real’

  • Way to go Nate!

    nate: please don’t talk. You’re making us all dumber with your comment.

  • Adam

    The earth is much smaller from photos of the moon landing, see earth rise photo. How is it that the earth is so big in this real photo when the Apollo photos show the earth much smaller?

    • Stephen

      @Adam A wider or narrower field of view on the camera lens will determine how large the earth looks in the picture. These photos are either zoomed in on the earth or cropped. As for why the moon can appear a different size relative to the earth in a photo: just get a basketball, a baseball, and a phone camera and take a bunch of pictures from different locations. It will all quickly make intuitive sense.

  • Paul

    All that Flat Earth baloney above from an ego-challenged cult of insanity. Obviously there is so much intuitively obvious natural evidence of spherical planets. When you let something molted drop through the air what shape does it naturally assume? Spherical. Rain? Spherical. Bubbles in liquid.. again, spherical. The Earth molten once in space… obviously would be spherical too. Flat Earth is completely non-intuitive and relies on rationalization not evidence, whereas we can see spherical bodies are natural when liquid or gaseous objects are suspended in other amorphous materials or space.

  • Marcel

    Why do people confuse proof with lack of understanding? They all could just ask a question and learn, instead of they use anything they don’t understand as proof for something to be unreal. Fascinating and scary.

  • DJ

    Looks so fake, it must be real…
    How come we haven’t been ‘back’ to the moon?

  • Paul

    Wow, this has brought out all the idiots..the camera is in stationary orbit, its not a film, its pictures, if they wanted to fake it you buffoons, they could of whittled something prettier far easier.

  • Kurt

    Everything that NASA shows you is fake, space is fake, we need to quit giving NASA $60 million dollars a day they give no proof of anything.

  • Barbra

    All that spinning, and no cloud movement/formation change. So incredibly fake, as everything is from NASA.



  • Rob D.

    I’m gonna have to agree with the fact that flat earth people have grossly misused the miraculous gift of the human mind. The simple and sad truth is that most humans, especially spoiled humans like many in the US, and other over-“developed” or extremely self absorbed societies, are not only allowed but encouraged to pursue their whimsical & willful ignorance. They create a habit of arguing before understanding.. denying before listening.. fighting a war without knowing the reason.. preferring to trust in themselves to judge before studying the simple logical given information.. like asking themselves for directions to a place they’ve never heard of.

  • MRC

    If this is a time lapse….then we just threw away a whole lotta $$$….FFS…