Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lunar Farside
Posted on 04/05/2014 4:06:18 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Tidally locked in synchronous rotation, the Moon always presents its familiar nearside to denizens of planet Earth. From lunar orbit, the Moon's farside can become familiar, though. In fact this sharp picture, a mosaic from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's wide angle camera, is centered on the lunar farside. Part of a global mosaic of over 15,000 images acquired between November 2009 and February 2011, the highest resolution version shows features at a scale of 100 meters per pixel. Surprisingly, the rough and battered surface of the farside looks very different from the nearside covered with smooth dark lunar maria. The likely explanation is that the farside crust is thicker, making it harder for molten material from the interior to flow to the surface and form the smooth maria.
(Excerpt) Read more at 18.104.22.168 ...
[Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State Univ. / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter]
Wouldn't it also protect earth so to speak? Things heading toward earth might be intercepted by the moon and they would impact on that side.
Pink Floyd will see you now!
Civ, where’s the Nazi base?
They photoshopped it out...
I suppose it can, and does; but probably not as much as one would think. Ask the Dinosaurs - well, you can't. From what I understand Jupiter offers us a great deal of help in that regard. Jupiter has a huge gravity well. Our Moon does 'help' us in a great many other ways. Life/Earth as we know it wouldn't exist without it.
Things heading toward earth might be intercepted by the moon and they would impact on that side.
By the moon fuhrer’s earthbound network of spies.
I bet Mr. Larson has a better maid...
Sobering to think of the few people who have seen that side ....
Just a question ... does anyone know if the moon is a true sphere, or, like the earth, an oblate spheroid?
No. There would be little bias if any for farsIde impacts. It just doesn’t work that way, orbital mechanics 101.
People living on the far side of the Moon, don’t know that Earth exists.
Not a lot of opportunity for the moon to shield the earth. This is a picture of the earth and moon taken from Saturn in 2013.
Thanks John Valentine and <1/1,000,000th%/, well explained.
The Moon is only about 2000 miles in diameter, and space debris is more likely to hit the 8000 mile diameter Earth. It can come from all directions. Impacts on the lunar surface have been observed a few times, I’ll scare up some links for the bottom of this post.
The difference between the two hemispheres of the Moon is analogous to the Martian surface, and as the fringe author Donald Patten suggested, the “Hemisphere of Craters” on Mars probably would look like the “Opposite Hemisphere”, vis a vis crater distribution, if it weren’t for a single large impact event sometime in the Martian past, during which a lot of craters formed more or less simultaneously.
The Moon probably had a very similar large impact event, or several, resulting in a resurfacing of the visible side, covering the original crater structure which looked a lot like the far side does now.
The tidal lock which the Moon now has with the Earth is due to the tidal transfer of momentum common to satellites; the Moon is about 1 percent the mass of the Earth, and while this tidal transfer is basically causing the distance between the Earth and Moon to increase over time, the energy for that comes out of a slow deceleration of the rotation on the axis.
Given enough time, the Earth could lose enough to be tidally locked with the Moon. The two globes might then show the same faces to each other from then on. Before that time the Moon will probably be pushed far enough away to leave the Earth’s sphere of influence and go on a field trip through the Solar System.
After they abandoned their UFO base in Antarctica, they moved operations to the Moon, but they didn’t stay long — they headed to the Mars colony started by Marconi. At least, that’s what I remember from David Hatcher Childress. ;’)
And of those few, only six have seen it when they were alone.
Here’s a link to the full sized shot (it’s also linked in the ping message above):
In the lower right near the vertical centerline there’s a large, darker spot; notice how it’s mostly without craters, with perhaps a dozen small ones? That appears to have been a large “maria” impact scar like we see on the visible side, which resurfaced and erased the craters which had been there before; subsequently more small impacts left more conventional craters.
That’s no moon...
Nice little ping there, Mr. Civilizations. Thank you.
My first thought was that it is far different from the side that faces Earth.
It is an interesting theory that the far side has a thicker crust which minimizes eruptions
and prevents large, smooth maria.
Perhaps the outward-facing side would also get more hits from wandering space rocks.
It certainly looks more pock marked than the Giant Rabbit/Man in the Moon side.
And really, who doesn’t like a smooth Maria ?
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