Now you can catch a glimpse of the “dark side” of the Moon. NASA has released an animated video which showcases the detailed structure of the Moon from the other side. The space agency commented “Just like the near side, the far side goes through a complete cycle of phases. But the terrain of the far side is quite different.” Maria, the large dark spots visible from Earth which forms the Man in the Moon, is not there on its far side. Instead, craters of all sizes cover the surface. The space agency used mapping data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite to create this nearly two-minute time-lapse clip.
On any given night, the visible area of the Moon is always identical. However, this doesn’t imply that Moon is at a standstill. It surely rotates but it has a Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) which means that people on Earth always see the same surface region of the Moon. Due to the gravitational force of Moon, the seas and oceans behave as brakes on the Earth, slowing it down. On the other hand, the gravitational force of the Earth accelerates the Moon. Thus, both the Earth and the Moon are committed to the same rotation time.
Due to its orbit and rotation, only 59 percent of the Moon’s surface is visible from Earth. In October 1959, the Soviet Luna 3 probe sent a set of grainy images showing the far side of the Moon for the first time. Fifty years later Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched which returned hundreds of terabytes of data. This data helped the LRO scientists to create accurate and detailed maps of the far side of the Moon.