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The Kid Should See This

Full 360° view of our moon from NASA’s LROC Wide Angle Camera

From the Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), providing a very wide field-of-view, view Earth’s moon from all sides. It was created from 110,000 high-resolution WAC images that were digitally stitched together after differences in both sun angle and LRO camera view angle were calculated and adjusted for. This full 360-degree rotation is a view that humans rarely see. From Universe Today:

Take out a nice pair of binoculars, or a small telescope tonight and you’ll be able to see huge craters and ancient lava plains. Look again tomorrow, and you’ll be able to see… the exact same things. As you know, our modest Moon only shows us one face. Ever.

If you could look at the Moon orbiting the Earth from above, you’d see that it orbits once on its axis exactly as long as it takes to orbit once around our planet. It’s always turning, showing us exactly the same face. What’s it hiding?

The Moon isn’t the only place in the Solar System where this happens. All major moons of Jupiter and Saturn show the same face to their parent. Pluto and Charon are even stranger, the two worlds are locked, facing one another for all eternity. Astronomers call this tidal locking, and happens because of the gravitational interaction between worlds.

Read and watch more at Universe Today.

Next, watch the phases of the moon visualized from the other side, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Images of Apollo landing sites, and Why The Full Moon is Better in Winter. Also: Phases of the Moon, animated with Virtual Moon Atlas.

h/t Kottke.

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