Everything Under The Sun Is In Tune

Via the Guardian:

In an unusual treat for astronomers, and perhaps Pink Floyd fans, what is often known as the dark side of the moon has been captured, fully illuminated, by a camera aboard a NASA satellite. The series of images taken from NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory show a view of the far side of the moon, as it is more formally known, as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth. The images, taken on 16 July, show the moon moving across the Pacific Ocean towards North America. Its far side is shown in detail owing to sunlight hitting it, revealing a crater and a large plain called the Mare Moscoviense. Earth-bound observers see only one side of the moon because it is tidally locked to our planet, meaning its orbital period is the same as its rotation around its axis. The images of the far side of the moon, which wasn’t seen by humankind until a Soviet mission in 1959, will be captured about twice a year by NASA’s observatory, which is primarily monitoring solar winds.

(Tipped by JMG reader Smith)

  • Bj Lincoln

    Very cool. Don’t ya just love science!

    • Ginger Snap

      I sure do love science. I think it’s tied with how much I like sex.

      • Rambie

        I love science but it doesn’t compare to sex. 😉

        • JW Swift

          I love science AND sex, but much of the time, I don’t get any love in return. (pout!)

          • Schlukitz

            Aw. Sending you a big hug. 🙂

        • ZhyKitty

          The older you get, the more you need one to accomplish the other.

      • Schlukitz

        “How can you get any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”

        • ZhyKitty


        • Bad Tom

          You! YES, YOU!
          Stand still laddy!

    • John P Egan, PhD


  • Chucktech

    Oh, dear… Looks like the work of that ol’ Satan and one of his devil moons… The end times are surely nigh… (or Nye (as in Bill Nye)…)

    • JW Swift


      • Chucktech

        Well, sure, for our equine friends…

      • McSwagg

        Quit horsing around. We’re trying to have a serious discussion here.

        • JW Swift

          Awww, corral that negative attitude, Hoss, and quit yer whinnying.

          • David L. Caster

            I think he forgot the <s> tag.

          • JW Swift

            No, it’s fine, I took it as snark and was trying to continue the riffing.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    I don’t see the Nazis?


    • Gustav2

      Mein Gott, That’s were my cousins went!

    • Ginger Snap

      This movie was a laugh riot. They have another coming out this year.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        I love that movie. I re-watch it often. I cannot wait for the second one.

        I also love the Sarah Palin-esque President who is apparently some sort of lizard person in the second movie.

        • Ginger Snap

          The second movie looks like it has been influenced by V.

          • ZhyKitty

            That was a truly great show in it’s time – back in the 80’s. I was a tween/teen when it came out.

          • Rebecca Gardner

            I always think of this scene when I think of “V”


          • ZhyKitty

            ROTFLMAO!!! It looked so good to me back then…but now? ROTFLMAO

          • Rebecca Gardner

            OMG! I was thinking the same thing. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • ZhyKitty

            I literally had tears fogging up my glasses when I played it back for the 3rd time….it was just SO BAD…
            But I remember it so differently..
            Such is the nature of our memories, I suppose…we update them in the strangest ways with time.
            The reality of seeing it again just cracked me up!!!!!!
            Thank you for that!

          • BudClark

            All I cared about was Marc Singer taking off his clothes .

          • Ginger Snap

            I have the original and the remade series on dvd. Love them both.

  • bkmn

    Large image of moon….searching for Chris Christie joke.

    • LonelyLiberal

      Well, think about it. Have you ever seen Chris Christie’s ass? No? It’s because we haven’t sent a space probe to investigate it yet.

  • another_steve

    Science: The enemy of irrational thought.

    • Chucktech

      a.k.a. religion…

      • another_steve

        Religion is not, per se, irrational.

        What is irrational is a “declaration,” by anyone, either that “there is a god” or that “there is no god.”

        • ZhyKitty

          You think like I do on that.
          (I think, anyway)
          We have no idea, beyond what is here and what we have learned, what is or is not true.
          On the subject of god or what happens when we die, etc…well…who knows for sure? We actually , if we’re honest, don’t know those things.
          The religions of the world are bullshit but that doesnt mean there isn’t more than meets the eye.
          Either way, perhaps we’ll know when we are dead…and perhaps not…and if not, we won’t know it anyway…so there’s nothing to fear.

          • another_steve

            So it helps for me, ZK, to see the religions of the world as efforts by we frail humans to speak what is unspeakable. Mystics refer to such things as the “ineffable.” As soon as you attempt to speak it, you are wrongly characterizing it.

            Those familiar with the daoist “Tao Te Ching” will recognize this in Verse One.

            Regarding whether there is anything “to fear,” ZK, I think there is not.

            On this there is the lovely image of the Gautama Buddha exhibiting the abhaya mudra.

            “Fear not.”


          • ZhyKitty

            I have that very statue (in miniature) in my den. I did not, until this moment, know the meaning of it.
            Thank you so much for that.
            (I have always delighted in collecting iconary from many religions when I have the chance. Buddhist, Celtic, and Egyptian statues delight me the most, even without an understanding of them.)

            I loved the way you put that – the moment you attempt to give voice to it, you are mischaracterizing it.
            Well said… well said, indeed.

  • LonelyLiberal

    Libration assures that we do see more than fifty percent of our Moon during the average orbit, but of course we never see the entire back side due to tidal locking.

  • Todd Allis

    Reminds me a bit of the Death Star.

  • band
  • Ginger Snap

    I’m glad I believe in the truth of science and not a false god.

    • ZhyKitty

      I was just having that conversation with my daughter last night. She was telling me, after being in a surgery with a patient that should have died, but didn’t, at least for now, due to a new technique being performed at her teaching hospital …and via rotation she was lucky enough to be in the room to see it – how awed by the magnificence of Science she is, and how the continuing to question and learn IS like a religion to her, in that she feels very moved by it, as if in the presence of something great.

      That’s so much better than a made up dead god.

      • People4Humanity


        • ZhyKitty

          I thought it was, too.
          I hope the writing of it conveyed at least a little bit of the awe in her voice when she was telling it to me.

  • JW Swift

    At least it’s not a pic of a chocolate chip cookie.

    BTW, Disney insider tip: At Space Mountain, the video projected inside, on the ceiling of the building as you’re about to board the coaster include images that are supposed to look like an asteroid or something flying past. If you look closely, you’ll find that they are actually images of a chocolate chip cookie.

  • Sean

    Something fun I learned a while back: The moon looks really dark in this image, but that’s about the real color of both sides. It’s only because it’s the only illuminated object of any size in the sky at night that it looks so much lighter. Earth looks 100x brighter from the moon than vice versa.

    • LonelyLiberal

      Water and atmosphere reflect so much more light than dull soil pockmarked with micrometeroid impacts. 🙂

      I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a moon as bright as Earth. You’d be able to read very easily by the full Moon and the room darkening blind industry would be huge.

      • stuckinthewoods

        Life would have evolved to be very different. We’ve now changed our environment with light pollution of what should be darkness at night affecting many species.

        I’ve always wished we had a few more moons.

        • ZhyKitty

          We have true darkness at night here, and where my Granny lives…darkness uninterrupted at night except by the night sky is a beauty all it’s own that I would not trade for anything.

          • stuckinthewoods

            We had it too and then were forced to trade it. The nearby prison finally installed real security and that included lights. We traded escapees for darkness. It is dark compared to the cities and we are still looking forward to the Perseids next week, but years ago there’d been an instance of the Northern Lights coming this far south. We could just make it out then – and I don’t think that would be possible today.

          • ZhyKitty

            I’m awed that you’ve ever seen even a trace of the Northern Lights. That’s actually on my bucket list.

            I can’t say your trade is a bad one, considering that you have a prison close by…. not that you’d have had any say in it, anyway. Escaping the hell that is prison would make for desperate people, so it’s better for you that it’s harder for them to do it…though my heart goes out to them too, given the prison tales I’ve heard.

          • stuckinthewoods

            The Lights were very faint. If I didn’t know their smudge was expected I might not have noticed it. I’d like to see the real thing too. Do you remember years ago on JMG when commenter Gandolf mentioned they made sounds? Crackling sounds.

            The prison is a boys facility so had little security. They were nevertheless in there for murder, etc. and we knew of an escape if there were helicopters overhead. One day I heard the loud sound and ran outside wearing nothing but a red T shirt. Directly above me was a copter. I ran around the house and cops immediately showed up. The escapee had been wearing a red T shirt. Escapes happened several times a month so I have to admit I don’t miss that.

          • Henry Horton

            Dark skies and quiet…two of the greatest of the blessings of living waaaay out in the boonies in the woods far from the madding crowd as i have managed to do most of my life. Right now the loudest sound outside is the creek and tonight it will be ol Hooty Owl!

          • stuckinthewoods

            I went out to check and the loudest sound here is the chattering and buzzing of dozens of hummingbirds around the porch. En masse they are loud. (I’m going through nearly a four pound bag of sugar a day.) I love the owls too.

          • ZhyKitty

            My Grandmother loved them too…and always had the feeders of red water hanging for them. As children, we watched them with her all the time.
            It’s so cool that you love them too.

          • stuckinthewoods

            I don’t bother with red coloring. I just pour a cup of sugar into a quart bottle and shake. At this time of year, over..and over… and over. Each evening we sit on the porch with our own mixed refreshments for what we call their “evening sip”. Dozens dash about getting tanked up for the night’s metabolic torpor. All will eventually stop, settle and quietly drink. Then they zoom up into the trees to rest about the same time the fireflies come out. Now I think of them as flocking birds. I can’t otherwise explain why there won’t be many around and suddenly dozens will show up. Then depart together.. then reappear. We’ve seen various odd behaviors – like a flock of them chasing a quail.

          • ZhyKitty

            Don’t you love that? The sounds of the night creatures? It’s one of my favorite things.
            My Big Daddy worships the sun and the light, but I have always loved the night.
            …and when I say that I mean these country nights, out here where there is nothing but nature. They’re beautiful.

          • Henry Horton

            Oh…being born on the winter solstice and growing up in the country way before the urban madness got way outa line i have been a child o the cold winter nights and blazing December skies. A few years ago i grabbed the short intro talk at The East Hawaii Center for Spiritual Living on the Winter Solstice to praise the Dark to a group of people who were all “Oh go into the Light…Light Good/ Dark bad. Shadow scary” and low and behold they loved it..BTW my country be the Blue Ridge Mountains of SW N.C. where 10 mo ago i came home to a place i’d never been before…”Almost Heaven, North Carolina, Blue Ridge Mtns….Country road…” Where you?

          • LonelyLiberal

            Something I’ve only ever seen off the coast of Maine, and even there the lights of Portland got in the way a bit to the west.

            The guy who took me out there also got in the way from time to time, but since it was his cottage and his boat, I guess I definitely owed him a little something-something.

            There were no complaints.

  • MacCrocodile

    Point of order: that’s the far side of the moon, not the dark side of the moon. If it were the dark side of the moon, it wouldn’t be “fully illuminated”, and if it were fully illuminated, it wouldn’t be the dark side of the moon.

    • Rrhain

      Point of order: “Dark” has multiple meanings, one of which is “hidden.” When we say you have been “kept in the dark,” we don’t mean you’ve been locked in a room with no light. We mean you have not been told everything.

      We call it the “dark” side of the moon not because it is never illuminated but because we cannot see it.

  • Drayfield

    Where are the alien space stations I hear are there! Can’t trust those alien theorists!

  • bambinoitaliano

    You mean that grey matter is not some demon spirit that also possess Obama?

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    My dumb question du jour for any astronomy people out there:
    The images, taken on 16 July, show the moon moving across the Pacific Ocean towards North America.
    If the moon is moving from west to east (in Earth terms), how does it manage to rise in the east and set in the west?

    • bambinoitaliano
      • 2guysnamedjoe

        Got it. The Moon revolves in the same direction the Earth rotates, but much slower.

        • LonelyLiberal

          Yep. It’s interesting to note that the Moon moves about 12 degrees per day. If you watch carefully during a partial phase, you can watch the Moon occult stars. They then appear from behind the Moon about an hour later (faster if they didn’t disappear at the perpendicular to the axis of motion).

          The Moon’s “day” averages about an hour longer than the solar day–it rises an hour later each day for any given location on Earth, on average.

  • billbear1961


    What an enormous pleasure–and relief–stories like this are!

    • a pleasure in the midst of all this to be reminded there’s still a sky

  • KentDean

    This is my new desktop wallpaper.

  • JCF

    Great headline, Joe!