Although the primary mission of NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is to to monitor solar winds, the satellite is also doing a great job of letting all of us Earth-bound creatures see beautiful views of our own planet. The latest images from DSCOVR not only offer a stunning view of Earth, they also provide an "epic" view of the moon.
NASA on Wednesday released an animation that shows the moon's dark side as it transits the Earth -- a rare site for all us non-astronauts indeed. The animation was created with a series of images obtained from DSCOVR's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope. The images were taken between 3:50 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. ET on July 16 and show the moon moving over the Pacific Ocean near North America.
DSCOVR is located one million miles away from Earth and is meant to serve as an early warning system of sorts when harmful solar activity is heading our way.
In addition to capturing great images of our own space rock, the EPIC camera aboard the craft "will be used in science applications to measure ozone amounts, aerosol amounts, cloud height and phase, vegetation properties, hotspot land properties and UV radiation estimates at Earth's surface," according to NASA. The camera snaps a full-color image of our planet every day, and once every few months, it's lucky enough to catch the moon when it is directly between Earth and the craft.