This is what the moon looks like as it rotates

The LRO’s wide-angle camera imaged the largely uniform and featureless far side of the moon.

(Credit: NASA)

Why does the moon always looks the same from our perspective? It goes through phases, but the face it shows us changes very little because it’s tidally locked to Earth.

The moon does indeed rotate. Since its own rotation is synchronized with its orbital period around our planet, all we see is one of its hemispheres.

But what would the moon look like without this synchronicity? Here’s a video created from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) data that shows us our satellite in all its spinning glory.

Soon to be joined by NASA’s LADEE lunar probe, the LRO has been orbiting the moon since 2009, gathering images with its wide-angle camera.

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