Chinese satellite reveals image of moon’s far side, earth together

The last time a human set foot on the moon was in 1972. Image credit- Pexels licensed under CC0

The last time a human set foot on the moon was in 1972. Image credit- Pexels licensed under CC0

This mission marks the first successful soft landing on the moons dark side, the side that does not face the sun.

DSLWP-B is a micro-satellite built by Chinese astronomers.

Queqiao and Longjiang-2 are still orbiting the moon, though, so we'll likely see many more stunning images of our closest neighbor in the future.

China made history in January after the country successful landed the Chang'e-4 spacecraft on the dark side of the moon.

Area around Chang'e 4 lander enlarged by a factor of two relative to the native pixel scale, bright speck between two arrows is the lander; the large crater in the center (just right and below arrows) is about 1,440 feet (440 m) across.

Queqiao has also played a crucial role in China's lunar lander mission. Queqiiao is now located in a stable position near the Moon and beams back radio signals from Chang'e-4 lander and DSLWP-B to Earth. According to Chinese scientists, the probe is now about 18 meters northwest of the lander and is in constant communication with ground control here on Earth. However, the tiny satellite became active again on 13th January 2019. The first opportunity to take photos of Earth and Moon were on 3 February, on which a command was sent to take another timelapse. The Dwingeloo telescope downloaded the photo from the satellite this morning.

Back in 2014, another Chinese satellite, the Chang'e 5-T1 managed to snap a similar photo, taken from a vantage point that showcased the far side of the Moon and, in the distance, the blue marble that floats through the darkness which we call home - Earth. It has an amateur radio transceiver aboard, which allows communication between the satellite and radio amateurs on Earth.

Full colour adjusted images captured throughout the process are available on Cess Bassa's blog post.