BEHOLD the magnificent lunar backside in our MOON VIDEO
NASA proudly exhibits LRO montage
Vid NASA has stitched together images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to produce a stunning video showing what the moon looks like from The Other Side.
It shows that there are many more, and larger craters than on the side which faces the Earth. What it doesn’t have is the large dark spots, called maria. The animation above shows craters of all sizes over the entire dark side.
Although “dark” is a misnomer, the side we can’t see is illuminated by the Sun in just the same way as the Earth.
The a slightly darker area covering the bottom third of the disk is one of the largest and oldest impact features in the solar system, the South Pole-Aitken basin. Roughly 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) in diameter and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) deep, roughly the size of Northern and Southern Ireland combined.
It was first spotted by the Soviet Luna 3 probe, which swung around the Moon in October, 1959 to get the very first pictures of the side of the moon man had never seen. Yet the scale of the crater was not appreciated until data from Apollo 15 and 16 missions showed the northern portion of this basin was exceptionally deep.
The animation by Ernie Wright (USRA), Lead Animator, David Ladd (USRA), Producer, John Keller (NASA/GSFC), Scientist and Noah Petro (ORAU), Scientist, takes the data from the LRO to produce a beautiful video. ®