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APOD: 2011 April 9 - Lunar Farside

Tidally locked in synchronous rotation, the Moon always presents its familiar nearside to denizens of planet Earth. From lunar orbit, the Moon's farside can become familiar, though. In fact this sharp picture, a mosaic from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's wide angle camera, is centered on the lunar farside. Part of a global mosaic of over 15,000 images acquired between November 2009 and February 2011, the highest resolution version shows features at a scale of 100 meters per pixel. Surprisingly, the rough and battered surface of the farside looks very different from the nearside covered with smooth dark lunar maria. The likely explanation is that the farside crust is thicker, making it harder for molten material from the interior to flow to the surface and form the smooth maria.
:wub:
 

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I have to say that the side tidally locked to face the Earth has much more character than the far side. So I guess we're just lucky. ;)
 

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I have to say that the side tidally locked to face the Earth has much more character than the far side. So I guess we're just lucky. ;)
Because of the tidal lock, the crust on the far side of the moon is actually thicker on average than the near side. Thus, any impacts on the near side would have more easily broken through to the (at the time) molten layers, to produce the features we see today.
 

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Because of the tidal lock, the crust on the far side of the moon is actually thicker on average than the near side. Thus, any impacts on the near side would have more easily broken through to the (at the time) molten layers, to produce the features we see today.
That's what the APOD description up there says. :cool:

I remember learning about that in high school and in college too. Nifty shtuff.
 

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I REALLY hoped this would be a Far Side take on Pink Floyd. :(
 
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