02 Feb 2012

NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft used a camera aboard one of these spacecraft, called Ebb on January 19th to film the "Far Side" of the moon.  The Transformer Sentinel or the secret Alien Moon base could not be seen however at the altitude the video was taken.  Each spacecraft is identical, the other called Flow.  They are equipped with MoonKam (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students).  They will be used by students nationwide to select lunar imagery to study. 

In the video clip we see the north pole of the moon as the craft flies towards the south pole.  The spacecraft were launched in September 2011 and fly at an altitude of around 34 miles (55 kilometers).

Far Side vs Dark Side Explained

The terms far side and dark side of the moon are often misunderstood or incorrectly used.  Originally during the Apollo Missions, the term Dark Side was actually used to define the area of the moon on the far side, where NASA would lose contact with the astronauts as their spacecraft circled the moon.  This area of zero radio signals was deemed "the dark side".  The term far side refers to the side that is always facing away from the Earth, due to the fact that the moon is tidally locked with the Earth's rotation.  This means that the Earth and moon both rotate in such a way, that one side always faces the Earth.  A tidally locked astronomical object takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its companion.

Another area of confusion is sunlight on the moon.  The moon is already a dark place to begin with, due to the fact sunlight is not reflected very well on the surface, but it is possible to have light on the back side of the moon or on the near side at various times.  For instance, when the Earth has a "New Moon", the moon appears dark and black.  If you were on the surface in that area on the moon, it would not be lit by sunlight.  Likewise the same cycles occur on the far side as well.

Source:  NASA


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