Far side of the Moon

Far side of the Moon

Fig. 5.11 . Locked into synchronous rotation by tidal interaction with the Earth, our Moon always presents its familiar near side to us. The far side, which remains forever invisible from Earth, is seen from Moon-orbiting spacecraft. This image, taken from Apollo 16, shows the eastern edge of the near side (left) and the rough, heavily cratered far side of the Moon, which contains fewer smooth, dark lunar maria than the near side. This is most likely because the far-side crust is thicker than the nearside crust, so molten material, or magmas, have greater difficulty in flowing to the surface to form smooth maria on the far side. (Courtesy of NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University