starfield simulation screensaver for your oscilloscope

With its mission successfully completed, the second stage of the Falcon 9 vehicle that launched DSCOVR is no longer needed. SpaceX ground control can still communicate with the stage until its batteries run out.

After the stage propelled the DSCOVR satellite towards its L1 lissajous orbit, the two components were separated.
However, because the rocket stage propelled the spacecraft towards its desired orbit, it too will follow a trajectory away from the Earth.

The stunning photo above was taken by a camera onboard the second stage as it races away from the planet. The nozzle of the Merlin 1D engine can be seen along with secondary stage hardware. The limb of the Earth shows the continent of Australia shortly after sunset.

DSCOVR will be placed in a stable lissajous orbit around the L1 liberation point - a region of space where the sun and Earth’s gravity wells can hold a spacecraft in position. L1 is located 930,000 miles away from the earth in the direction of the sun - over four times farther than the distance between the Earth and the Moon. This is the first deep-space flight for the Falcon 9 1.1 rocket, which previously had only lofted payloads to Low and Geostationary Transfer Orbits.