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    Chinese Satellite Reveals Image of Moon’s Far Side and Earth Together (PHOTO)

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    A stunning image taken by China’s Longjiang-2 satellite on 3 February shows a rare perspective – a giant backside of the Moon with a tiny planet Earth nearby.

    The Longjiang-2 satellite entered the Moon’s orbit in June 2018 and was launched along with China’s Queqiao communications probe, which has been critical for the country’s recent Chang’e-4 lunar lander. 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. Yet it needs the Queqiao satellite to be located in a stable position near the Moon, where it sends radio signals from both Longjiang-2 and the Chang’e-4 lander to Earth.

    READ MORE: Cold Moon: China’s Chang’e-4 Rover, Lander Survive First Lunar Night on Far Side

    Longjiang-2 had a companion satellite, Longjiang-1, which was also tasked with orbiting and observing the Moon. However, China lost contact with Longjiang-1 on its way to lunar orbit. 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.

    The probe has since been re-activated and started taking a time-lapse of the Earth-Moon system on 3 February. The picture of that sequence was downloaded by Dwingeloo Radio Observatory in the Netherlands yesterday, marking the first time Longjiang-2 has captured the entire Moon and Earth in one shot.


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