GREENBELT, MD - Everyone knows what the Moon looks like, right? Well, that's only the side that always faces the Earth. The only one we ever get to see. You know, the "man on the moon" side, but now, NASA is shedding some light on what the appearance of the dark side of the moon looks like.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which traveled to the far side of the Moon, has been sending us snap-shots of this unseen side since 2009. Those images were merged together to produce a new computerized video.
The NASA video shows the same phases of the Moon we're all used to seeing. But from this vantage point, the Lunar surface looks completely different. Gone are the large dark patches, called "maria" that make up the familiar "moon man" face staring down at us. In its place, craters. Lot's of them!
Impact sites of all sizes crowd together over the entire far side. From this perspective, the Moon looks like asteroids used it as target practice. The dark side also features one of the oldest and largest impact craters found in our whole solar system.
No wonder the man on the moon so looks unhappy. He took most of his beatings, from the back!