Home » SCIENCE » NASA Video on Moon’s ‘Dark’ Side Shows Stunning Clarity Minus ‘Maria’
The lunar farside as never seen before! LROC WAC orthographic projection centered at 180° longitude, 0° latitude. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

NASA Video on Moon’s ‘Dark’ Side Shows Stunning Clarity Minus ‘Maria’

NASA has released a stunning video showing the other side of the moon that is not visible to Earth as moon is always positioned only one side to the earth, based on the data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

The video produced by NASA’s scientific visualization studio shows that there are many more and larger craters than on the side which faces the Earth.

Because the moon is tidally locked (meaning the same side always faces Earth), it was not until 1959 that the far side was first photographed by the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft (with prominent farside features such as Mare Moscoviense).

Unlike the widespread maria on the nearside that we see, basaltic volcanism was restricted to a relatively few, smaller regions on the farside, and the battered highlands crust dominated.

Six orthographic views of the Moon created from the new WAC global mosaic. From upper left to lower right the central longitude is 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, 300°. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University.

Six orthographic views of the Moon created from the new WAC global mosaic. From upper left to lower right the central longitude is 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, 300°. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera (WAC) is a push-frame camera that captures seven color bands (321, 360, 415, 566, 604, 643, and 689 nm) with a 57-km swath (105-km swath in monochrome mode) from a 50 km orbit.

However, Maria or the large dark spots seen on moon from Earth are not visible. Even the contention that the otherside is “dark” is a misnomer, as the side of the Moon humans cannot see is illuminated equally by the Sun in just the same way as the Earth’s side, says NASA.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been mapping the Moon since 2009. NASA stitched together hundreds of terabytes of data to create the animation. In fact, first photos of the Moon’s dark side were sent as early as 1959 by the Soviet Luna 3 probe. (See Photo)

 

One comment

  1. It,s.pleasure.to.see unseen view of moon

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