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1st Video of Moon's Far Side

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the obviously-faked dept.

Moon 118

chill writes "A gravity-mapping spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed home its first video of the lunar far side — a view people on Earth never see. Because the moon is tidally locked with Earth, it only presents one face to the planet's surface (the near side). The side of the moon that faces away from Earth is the far side. Only robotic spacecraft and Apollo astronauts who orbited the moon in the 1960s and 1970s have seen the far side of the moon directly."

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118 comments

Dark Side (3, Funny)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903317)

What gives ? it's not dark - or is that because of some jedi mind trick ... [seriously cool though]

Re:Dark Side (4, Informative)

FreeBSDbigot (162899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903411)

Just in case you're not joking -- there is no dark side of the moon. At least, no permanent one -- of course, one side is dark at any moment, but it's constantly changing. The moon only presents one side to us earthlings, but all sides to the sun.

Re:Dark Side (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903551)

There is no far side of the moon, really... as a matter of fact, it's ALL far.

Re:Dark Side (1, Informative)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903751)

True. The proper and clear way to phrase it is: The farther side of the moon as measured in a geocentric coordinate system.

Pink Floyd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38906297)

Yeah, as that would result in a more handy title for the Pink Floyd album "The Farther Side of the Moon as Measured in a Geocentric Coordinate System".

Re:Dark Side (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903979)

There is no moon...
-smacks forehead-
Whoa. Spoon.

Re:Dark Side (0)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903667)

Oh. My. God. It looks just like the other side! What a shocker :)

Re:Dark Side (5, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903901)

Um, not it actually looks quite different. The lunar maria (the dark spots) are much less common. Reason being that those were formed by lava flows on the surface, and you can imagine that if there's molten rock inside, it would be pulled (as expected) towards a big nearby gravity well - Earth in this case.

Re:Dark Side (5, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904571)

Reason being that those were formed by lava flows on the surface, and you can imagine that if there's molten rock inside, it would be pulled (as expected) towards a big nearby gravity well - Earth in this case.

The difference in surface character on the two faces of the Moon are still a matter of considerable debate, and this particular just-so story--like so much that "just makes sense"--is completely false. References can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_mare [wikipedia.org]

There was recent work published suggesting the difference in hemispheres could be due to a late, large, low-velocity impact event that happened shortly after the lunar formation impact on Earth.

The biggest single lesson from the past 300 years of scientific discovery is that if something "just makes sense" to brains whose evolution has been driven primarily by the social processes of mate competition and mate selection then it is probably wrong. An educated person when presented with an explanation that has intuitive appeal will treat it with well-deserved suspicion until they have seen it publicly tested by systematic observation or controlled experiment (that is, scientifically validated) and not glibly repeat it as if it were knowledge rather than speculation.

Re:Dark Side (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38905399)

The biggest single lesson from the past 300 years of scientific discovery is that if something "just makes sense" to brains whose evolution has been driven primarily by the social processes of mate competition and mate selection then it is probably wrong. An educated person when presented with an explanation that has intuitive appeal will treat it with well-deserved suspicion until they have seen it publicly tested by systematic observation or controlled experiment (that is, scientifically validated) and not glibly repeat it as if it were knowledge rather than speculation.

Perhaps it was your own desire to impress potential mates that led you to dedicate more of your post to tut-ting the GP rather than dealing with the topic at hand.

Forget about mating; study science instead! (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38906335)

Considering this text, I can't imagine why the interest in science education is waning...

Re:Dark Side (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38905341)

...and you can imagine that if there's molten rock inside, it would be pulled (as expected) towards a big nearby gravity well - Earth in this case.

You could imagine that, but from a physical reality point of view you would be quite wrong.
Consider the tides of Earths oceans. By your argument the whole ocean would slosh towards the Sun, including on the far side of the Earth. Please have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Field_tidal.png [wikipedia.org]

Dark Side of the Moon (4, Funny)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903371)

There's no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903409)

oh? when the sun is high up it's brighter than anywhere on earth.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903789)

It receives more light, but it's actually a relatively dark grey colour so it's not very bright to look at. It seems bright at night, of course, but that's just because it's sunlit and everything around you isn't.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903981)

What wavelength is dark grey light?

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904475)

It doesn't have one. The mixture of wavelengths isn't even well-defined. It's any light with a spectrum that more-or-less evenly activates the different photoreceptors in the eye. And being "dark grey" it's of low intensity.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904601)

So it's white light.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38905147)

You have just proved that the grey colour of the of the moon is white light.

So what wavelength is the orange i'm holding in my hand?

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38906303)

The moon has pretty low albedo. Most people don't know that, because at night it seems to be bright white, it's really dark gray. Wavelength is only one dimension of color.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (1)

davewoods (2450314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38905635)

The same as regular old fashioned white light, but the contrast is just turned down a fair bit.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904439)

so you claim you are in darkness if you stand on a black topped parking lot in the Florida Keys at high noon on July? that's an interesting point of view. I said the Sun was brighter, lots of light there at high noon on the moon.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904501)

And I'm trying to avoid any confusion for people who interpret the word "bright" as appearing bright versus being well-illuminated.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904213)

you just missed a reference to one of the single greatest rock albums in human history. people who dont really even care for pink floyd still know this line.

you must not be people, and you speak of the moon as if you have been there.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903469)

And this certainly isn't the first video. People have been using The Wizard of Oz as one for a long time.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903599)

Fear not, bigredradio... despite the loud swooshing sounds, there are some out there that have listened to Pink Floyd.

Re:Dark Side of the Moon (2)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904219)

All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy Beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

"There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."

Disappointed (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903415)

No hidden Nazis, Communist strike force, or Transformers.

Re:Disappointed (5, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903827)

That's no space station. It's a moon!

Re:Disappointed (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904335)

The funniest part of that post is that it's modded 2 - informative currently.

Re:Disappointed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904535)

Yeah, the "whooosh" factor is kinda funny in a sad way for a geek site.

Re:Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38905047)

If moderators find something especially funny we'll often mod +1, Underrated, or +1, Informative instead of +1, Funny. We do this because +1, Funny doesn't give a karma boost to the user (someone coding up Slash thought users shouldn't be rewarded for funny posts, I guess). Combine this with other moderators without a sense of humour modding the post down, and the user could have a +5, Funny post that ultimately costs them karma. Giving it +1 in the other categories serves to counteract this effect.

Re:Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38908463)

Yeah, but I'm sure I saw a cow wearing glasses, talking to a scientist on the moon's Far Side.

Toto... (3, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903419)

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

Re:Toto... (1)

zerosomething (1353609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904339)

You dolt! You missed a perfectly good opportunity to comment on the Pink Floyd references to make a very cool obscure reference less obscure. I got it though, good work, you do know what I'm talking about don't you...

Did they spot the space nazi base? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903437)

After all it's been revealed this is where they're plotting their revenge...

http://www.ironsky.net

Not first Video of the far side of the moon (5, Informative)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903443)

Actually I'm almost positive that this is not the first video of the far side of the moon (and certainly not the first images, that was done by some Russian probe back in the 60s I think).

Not only did the aforementioned Apollo astronauts take moving images (ok, maybe not technically video) of the far side during their orbits but I recall that even the recent Japanese or Chinese lunar probes were transmitting hi-def videos including (I think) a beautiful "earth-rise". Which by definition means they had to be imaging at least part of the far side.

No, this is just the first video of the far side from GRAIL (which is pretty awesome regardless). Now there is a chance that due to the fact that GRAIL entails TWO spacecraft that one could be acting as a relay which would make this the first LIVE video from the far side. But considering the small separation distance of them (less than 100km?) I doubt it.

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903511)

I agree. this article is a huge WTF.

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

instagib (879544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904833)

Especially the crap "video". It actually looks like taken during the 60s, recorded to VHS from TV, transferred to another VHS tape, and then converted to digital by filming it from an old TV with a 10 year old point-and-shoot camera.

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903521)

You are completely right. I have seen the videos from the Apollo program that show the far side in great detail. The far side is well mapped. This is barely news. Now maybe once we get the gravity maps and figure out where all the water is for our future moon bases, we will have some good data that's worth something.

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903857)

Yup, I remember the famous "earth rise" video taken in the early 70's by one of the Apollo missions!

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904793)

The cameras on GRAIL were an afterthought; they are dinky, cell-phone-grade cameras so we should not be too picky. Photography was not its primary mission...

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

KingofSpades (874684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38907753)

Today, cell phones record in HD.
Come one, you're sending a probe to the moon and you can't afford an HD camera ? This is nuts !

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38908629)

I know the iPhone is the shiznit and all but will its camera withstand cosmic rays, van allen belts, vibration and hot-cold temperature cycles of 200 degrees C, with a probability of failure of less than 1% over a year?

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38905353)

including (I think) a beautiful "earth-rise". Which by definition means they had to be imaging at least part of the far side

Um... no. That's completely false. In fact, the exact opposite is true. To see the Earth from the moon, means you are, in fact, on the near side.

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38906193)

When you see the earth coming up over the (lunar) horizon, the part of the moon your are seeing BELOW you is the far side because you cannot see the earth from it. (True, it is awfully close to the near side being on the "border" as it is.)

Re:Not first Video of the far side of the moon (1)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38907399)

nope, sorry, i agree w/ AC. if you can see the earth from the moon, the earth can see you on the moon. i suppose there is some tiny ribbon of the moon where your tripod's feet are not visible, but the camera is, but it's not likely any of the "far" side of the moon would be visible in the shot.

Parallel Universe... (1)

omganton (2554342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903481)

Somewhere, in a parallel universe where intellectuals run the world, this would be mainstream news. Everybody on Earth looks at the same side of the moon day in and day out... I find this video to be awe inspiring. Oh well.

Crater witih + sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903493)

Whats the crater on the bottom right with the PLUS + sign thing in it?

Re:Crater witih + sign (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903563)

Whats the crater on the bottom right with the PLUS + sign thing in it?

Bloody hell, Google's taking the social networking war to the next level.

central uplift (1)

White Yeti (927387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38905985)

The peak in the center of crater Drygalski is an "uplift", which is common in craters. The Wikipedia page on impact craters [wikipedia.org] describes this briefly and has other nice images. These LPI lunar maps [usra.edu] helped me identify the crater itself.

Near & Far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903505)

>> The side of the moon that faces away from Earth is the far side.

Just so everyone is clear: The side of the moon that faces towards Earth is the near side.

Re:Near & Far (1)

sirdude (578412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904015)

Thousands of fourth- to eighth-grade students will select target areas on the lunar surface and send requests to the GRAIL MoonKAM Mission Operations Center in San Diego. Photos of the target areas will be sent back by the satellites for students to study. The MoonKAM program is led by Sally Ride, America's first woman in space. Her team at Sally Ride Science and undergraduate students at the University of California in San Diego will engage middle schools across the country in the GRAIL mission and lunar exploration. GRAIL is NASA's first planetary mission carrying instruments fully dedicated to education and public outreach.

"We have had great response from schools around the country; more than 2,500 signed up to participate so far," Ride said. "In mid-March, the first pictures of the moon will be taken by students using MoonKAM. I expect this will excite many students about possible careers in science and engineering."

Source [nasa.gov]

Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903507)

Because the moon is tidally locked with Earth, it only presents one face to the planet's surface (the near side). The side of the moon that faces away from Earth is the far side.

News for nerds?

Avoid space.com (5, Insightful)

sirdude (578412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903573)

Could everybody avoid posting links to articles on space.com? They never cite or link to sources and go overboard with interstitial, pop-up and video ads.

Links:

Re:Avoid space.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904369)

Thank you!

No house! (2)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903627)

In German if someone is kinda ignorant, dumb, or stupid, they are often described as "living behind the moon."

People tend to say that to me often. Now that I have a video of the far side of the moon, finally I will be able to prove to all the idiots that they were WRONG!

Re:No house! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903797)

Behind the moon is not the same as living on the moon, they could be in a Lagrange position such that the moon continuously eclipses the earth (is that 1 or 2? bah, stupid numbers).

fi85t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903707)

may also want 7oday. It's about

Noob Question (5, Interesting)

OopsIDied (1764436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903711)

I always wondered, are the speeds of rotation of the moon and Earth so perfectly synced that even after a long time the same side of the moon is facing us? I'd think there might be at least a little speed difference that over the years would cause our view of the moon to shift.

Re:Noob Question (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903823)

Yes, they are. Also, gravity (via tidal forces) ensures this will be case in the future as well, having caused it in the first place.

Re:Noob Question (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38903851)

We're tidally locked which means at this point it's most stable for the moon to always face us. If something caused the moon to speed up its rotation a little bit, for instance, tidal locking would force it to slow back down to get back perfectly in sync with Earth. Earth is headed down the same path. I can't remember how many millions or billions of years it'll take, but eventually the Moon will slow down Earth's rotation and Earth will be tidally locked to the Moon, such that the same side of Earth will always be towards the Moon.

Cool (3, Interesting)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903787)

There are a klot of joking posts here, but I think this really is a cool thing. Maybe I'm biased because I just finished reading Jules Verne's Around the Moon [wikipedia.org] last night. We've certainly come a long way in understanding our nearest neighbor. In the book, it was hypothesized that the far side of the moon had retained an atmosphere and thus possibly supported life. Also, the craters were all thought to be volcanic in origin, but hey, Verne did a pretty good job all-in-all. Just about 100 years later, we did an actual moon fly-by [wikipedia.org] similar to what he has described (only in Apollo's case, it was intentional). Modern day sci-fi writers can learn a thing or two from the greats of the past.

Grrr. First by me doesn't mean first. (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903895)

Here is a Clue : It's Grail's first video, not anything like the first video.

Never mind Luna 3 in 1959 (which was stills). Never mind Lunar Orbiter (stills) and Apollo (movies). Never mind that Clementine mapped the whole of the Far Side over a decade ago. What about Selene ? It had an HD camera, and sent back video of far side, including cool shots like this one [selene.jaxa.jp] , of Malapert Mt and Shackleton Crater, at the Lunar South Pole, or this video [wn.com] of Tsiolkovsky Crater, deep into the Far Side. These videos are cool, and worth spending some time with.

Yes, but has it detected yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904343)

...the anomaly that we'll have to go there to dig out?

#insert "Thus_Spake_Zarathustra"

                  mark "how can I get to the front of the line to go?"

Obviously fake... (1)

AmbushBug (71207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904393)

So obviously fake! I mean, if it were real we'd be able to see the crash site of the Transformer space ship! Yet another NASA cover-up...

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904423)

It took the since the sixties to remove that crashed ship from the pictures??

Tidal Lock? (1)

ArmchairGeneral (1244800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904637)

Can someone explain why it is referred to as tidal locking? I understand the physics, but the name seems like an odd choice.

Re:Tidal Lock? (2)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38904769)

Can someone explain why it is referred to as tidal locking? I understand the physics, but the name seems like an odd choice.

My first temptation is to explain the physics, but you claim to already understand that. But if that were the case, you would already understand the answer to your question, too. So I'm confused about what you're actually asking. I'll simply refer you here: Tidal locking [wikipedia.org] . Once you understand what tidal locking is and how it occurs, why it's called that should be completely obvious.

Can you see the whalers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904643)

Can you see the whalers?

Technology (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904881)

Follow @megafindtech for more of the technology news on your twitter feed all new stunning products and updates

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