Have you ever wondered what the dark side (other side) of the moon looks like? NASA hears this question a lot and has released a video showing the dark side of the moon. In the video, you’ll see how the other side of the moon looks throughout the moon’s phases.
The other side of the moon looks a lot different than the side we always see. The large dark spots, known as maria, are not present on the other side of the moon. Instead, we see a surface littered with craters.
The far side of the moon is also home to one of the largest known impact craters in all the solar system. The South Pole-Aitken basin is massive. It’s about 1,600 miles in diameter and is 8.1 miles deep. You can see it in the video above. Look for the dark patches near the moon’s south pole.
Apollo 8 snapped this image, showing the mountains along the northern edge of the basis.
Our first look of the far side of the moon came in 1959. The Soviet Luna 3 probe captured a few images as it flew around the moon. Today, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken thousands of images. These images have helped create extremely detailed maps of the far side of the moon.
As part of NASA’s proposed 2016 budget, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter program may be ending. This doesn’t mean it’s coming to an end for sure, though. NASA’s 2015 budget also didn’t include funding for the LRO, but NASA managed to get some additional funding together to keep the program going. Let’s hope they do the same for 2016.