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, an avid follower of the space program, writes frequently about space topics for EarthSky. Over several years, he has also suggested observations that were carried out by imaging teams of some space missions. He has lives in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom and works for local government, Kent County Council.