We know how the Moon looks from here on Earth. But what does it look like from the other side?
Well for one thing, we can also see the Earth.
The spinning Earth looms large in this time-lapse telescopic view, made possible by computer graphics. We're looking along the imaginary line connecting the Earth and the Moon. From this vantage point, the Moon will be full soon, but on Earth, it's a waning crescent.
The far side of the Moon has fewer of the smooth, dark spots, called maria, that cover the side that faces Earth. Instead, the far side is covered with craters of all sizes.
In this second perspective, we're much closer to the Moon, using a wide-angle lens that makes the distant Earth seem smaller. (music)
With our view fixed on the Moon, the rest of the solar system seems to dance and whirl around us. (music)
Before the Space Age, no one knew what was on the other side of the Moon. Since 2009, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been making some of the most detailed global maps of the Moon's surface, making it much easier for everyone to see what it's like on the other side.
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