Why do we never see the back side of the moon?

Greetings my dear friends and subscribers ✌



You may not know this, or you may never have paid attention, but we can only see half of our satellite from Earth. The other half is hidden from us, and there is no way to see it from the surface of our planet. How is this possible and, most importantly, what is the "dark side" hiding from us?

According to scientists, the Moon is just over 4 billion years old. Both the Moon and our planet rotate on their own axes, but the Moon also has an orbit around the Earth. Over the time since the formation of the satellite, due to the gravitational influence of the Earth, the moon's rotation period has been set so that it always faces the same way.

This phenomenon is called "tidal capture" in celestial mechanics and is observed with all satellites and planets around which they orbit (provided that the mass of the satellite is much less than the mass of the planet). In the animation below, tidal grip is depicted on the left; on the right is the normal rotation of bodies around each other.


The first images of the back side were obtained in 1959 by the Luna 3 satellite. Unlike the visible side, it is much more riddled with meteorite craters and does not have as many seas. According to one hypothesis, this is due to the fact that the orientation of the Moon determined the characteristics of its surface. The side facing the Earth is less solid, and therefore a meteorite or asteroid impact at a time when it was still hot lava left a much more extensive footprint.

And, of course, the low parts of the landscape are called "seas" conventionally, because there has never been water on the Moon. Simply, the first astronomers who observed the Moon in the XVII century, saw noticeably darker areas, as they thought, filled with water - so they called them according to Earth's ideas. When it turned out that there was no water on the Moon, they did not change the name of the seas.


Thank you all for your attention to my publications, I hope you liked it, come again. 

Sincerely Eduard! 


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