Monday, March 4, 2024
Monday, March 4, 2024
HomeScienceNASA shares a detailed image of the far side of the Moon...

NASA shares a detailed image of the far side of the Moon and describes it as “It’s the face we never see…” | view photo


Image source: NASA Image shared by NASA on Instagram

NASA regularly shares stunning images from space on social media, and its recent post revealed an incredibly detailed image of the far side of the Moon. This side, often mistakenly called the “dark side,” is less known and has more craters and fewer dark plains compared to the side we see from Earth.

The far side of the Moon, which we cannot see from Earth, is full of craters and has fewer dark plains called marias. Early astronomers thought these dark areas were oceans, but they are actually basaltic plains formed by volcanic eruptions. The term “maria” comes from the Latin word meaning “seas.”

Photo details

The image shared by NASA is a mosaic of thousands of images of the far side of the Moon captured by the agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). It shows the round, gray disk of the Moon covered with craters of all sizes.

Tidally locked moon

NASA explained that the same side of the Moon always faces Earth because it is tidally locked. This means that the Moon’s orbital period is the same as its rotation period, so on Earth it takes the Moon a whole month to complete one rotation.

Viral reaction on social networks

The Instagram post quickly went viral, racking up millions of likes and reactions from amazed users in a matter of hours. Many people were captivated by the incredible detail captured in the image, calling it “amazing.”

NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

The LRO spacecraft, launched in June 2009, is about the size of a Mini Cooper car and is equipped with seven instruments for observing the Moon. It orbits the Moon in a polar orbit at an altitude of about 50 kilometers, creating a 3D map of the Moon’s surface.

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