The Chinese Chang’e 5 test vehicle captured this extraordinary view of Earth over the far side of the moon on October 28, 2014. From Earth on this date, the phase of the moon was a waxing crescent. From the moon that day, the Earth was in a waning gibbous phase.
Mare Moscoviense – one of the very few lunar maria on the lunar far side, 277 kilometers / 127 miles wide – is visible in the image near the center of the lunar far side.
Tsiolkovskiy Crater with its dark lava flooded floor – 180 kilometers / 112 miles wide – is visible to the lower left on the far side of the moon.
The Chinese Chang’e 5 spacecraft, which is testing lunar sample return technology, has rounded the lunar far side and is now on the return leg of its journey to the moon. It is landed back on Earth on Friday, October 31, 2014.
Bottom line: As it prepared to leave the moon and return to Earth, the Chinese Chang’e 5 spacecraft captured this image of the moon’s far side, with Earth in the background.
Andrew R. Brown lives in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom and works for local government, Kent County Council. He is directly involved with sharing ideas and thoughts with several NASA missions, particularly the Mercury MESSENGER mission, and has struck up good relationships with the MESSENGER team and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover team. He has suggested quite a few observations that were then carried out by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE instrument. Earlier, some of his suggested observations of Jupiter's moon Io were carried out by the New Horizons spacecraft, now on its way to a Pluto encounter in 2015.