People on Earth do not see the far side of the Moon because that hemisphere of the Moon is always turned away from the Earth. The only people to have seen the far side of the moon are astronauts who have orbited it during space missions. The first glimpses of the far side of the Moon came from photographs taken by the unmanned Soviet Luna 3 probe in 1959.
More Moon Over Miami Facts:
- The Moon has weak gravity, but is close enough to the Earth for the gravitational pull to cause tides in the Earth's oceans. The Moon is about 238,897 miles (384,467 kilometers) from the Earth, but is slowly moving farther away at a rate of about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) each year.
- The tidal forces are responsible for having slowed the rotation of the moon, resulting in the far side always facing away from Earth.
- Astronomers are interested in the far side of the Moon as a place for radio telescopes. Because that side of the moon isn't affected by Earthly radio transmissions, scientists could more easily gather unobstructed data. Before this can happen, however, scientists must find a way to protect equipment from lunar dust and solar flares.