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Thread: Spaceprobes

  1. #31
    Boaty McBoatface Array SD45T-2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    1w2 so/sp
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

  2. #33
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    To appreciate what NASA did to get Juno to Jupiter:

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  3. #34
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default "Matter of fact, it's all dark."

    Okay, so technically this isn't from a space probe, but I thought it was kind of neat anyway.

    DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) is a weather satellite located in an orbit between the sun and Earth at what's called a Lagrangian point. I'll let you peruse the Wikipedia article if you want to know the math; the gist is it's in an orbit about a million miles from us, at the point where the gravitational pulls from the sun and from Earth are the same. It's always seeing the sunlit half of Earth. Being in an orbit between us and the sun, it's equipped with magnetometers to let us know when solar winds and other '"space weather" might cause geomagnetic storms on Earth (which will not only cause very visible aurorae but can also screw up communication satellites, ground radio and even the electrical power grid). It's also equipped with a camera that can take images in UV and IR, which can be used to measure things like the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. That same camera can also take pictures in the visible light spectrum. The following was taken July 16th:

    A couple times every year the moon's orbit passes between Earth and DSCOVR, and DSCOVR will take pictures in the red, blue and green parts of the light spectrum every few minutes. The image above is a composite, to show what it looks like over the entire visible spectrum; you can see a little bit of a green artifact on the right side of the moon if you enlarge the picture because the green picture was taken last and the moon had shifted a little compared to when the other pictures were taken.

    What I think is most fascinating about this view of the moon is something you might not even realize at first glance. Think about it for a second: what looks 'off' about this picture of the moon? Figured it out?

    It's "the dark side of the moon". The far side that we never see from Earth. It's all DSCOVR ever sees of it though.

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