The Dark Side of the Moon

Start Date: Sep 2, 2015

Finish Date: Jun 22, 2016

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Have you noticed that when you look up at the moon, you always see the same features? You can see craters and patches of different colors. With a pair of binoculars or a telescope, you can make out even more detail. But no matter how you look at the moon, you're always seeing the same landscape. This happens because the moon is tidally locked to the earth. It rotates around its own axis in the same time it take to make one orbit around our planet, so we always see the same side, and that means the far side of the moon is always hidden.Wink But what's on the other side of the moon?

When the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 transmitted the first images from the other side of the moon it was expected it would look pretty much like the side we are familiar with. Instead they saw none of the “seas” visible to Earthly astronomers with small telescopes, and only a couple of smaller dark areas.  Many people use the phrase "the dark side of the moon" to describe something mysterious and unknown.

The dark side of the moon is supposed to be the side we never see, the side that faces away from Earth. This side of the moon faces the cold, black expanse of space. What could be on this side of the moon? What are conditions like there? Is it really always dark?

Some astronomers grimace or roll their eyes when they hear someone talk about the dark side of the moon because the far side of the moon gets just as much light as the side we can see (unless they're also Pink Floyd fans)  Once however, it seems that if the far side was not actually dark, then it was certainly much less light than the side lit up by close association to the molten Earth.

(video collage of different photos and zoom to the dark side of the moon) 

Space historian Ami Shira Teitel writes about the first photographs: "what came back were a series of seventeen noisy but discernible photographs of the Moon’s far side. With some digital manipulation, they were good enough to sketch out a tentative atlas of the Moon’s hidden face.

This first, grainy view of the Moon’s hidden face revealed a very different terrain than the face we’re used to seeing. The image revealed just two intense dark regions, Mare Moscovrae (Sea of Moscow) and Mare Desiderii (Sea of Dreams). Later missions brought the Moon’s far side to Earth in more — and more striking — detail, confirming that the hidden side is very differently cratered and marked than the nearside. But that first view remains one of the most beautiful views; the first view of something hidden from humanity is pretty special."Smile   

The Far Side of the Moon is permanently shrouded in shadows cast before the formation of the solar system. Invisible from Earth, it can only be directly observed by an astronaut equipped with a light source capable to cutting through the shadow, such as a blue laser sword, or a High frequency Active Auroral Research Program blue beam. 

Study of the far side has contributed substantially to scientific knowledge of dark matter and dark energy. Most of this knowledge is subject to heavy secrecy classifications however. NASA officially denies that any of its astronauts have visited the dark side.  



Ancient Greeks celebrated moon's energy in different mysteries but most of all in the Kavirian rituals on the full moon of July in Samothrace island. According to Aristoteles those who were initiated into the mysteries were put into a certain receptive dispotision. The real salvation that the mysteries offerred was salvation from "ειμαρμενη" the unavoidable destiny.eHea

Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light, 
Bull-horn'd, and wand'ring thro' the gloom of Night. 
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide 

Night's torch extending, through the heav'ns you ride: 
Female and male, with silv'ry rays you shine, 
And now full-orb'd, now tending to decline. 
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon, 
Whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon: 
Lover of horses, splendid queen of night, 
All-seeing pow'r, bedeck'd with starry light, 
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, 
In peace rejoicing, and a prudent life: 
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, 
Who giv'st to Nature's works their destin'd end. 
Queen of the stars, all-wise Diana, hail! 
Deck'd with a graceful robe and ample veil. 
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, 
Come, moony-lamp, with chaste and splendid light, 
Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays, 

And pleas'd accept thy suppliants' mystic praise. 

A number of other astronomers have attempted to view the dark side by telescope during a solar eclipse. This method too is now deprecated, because it exposed both the telescope and the observer to a deleterious combination of low-frequency light rays and high-energy dark rays. This invariably resulted in the death of the astronomer, and unfortunately many telescopes were seriously damaged as well. 

The famous "Man in the Moon"Surprised

Geographical features include the Mare non Solaris, or Sunless Sea, on whose southern coastline is a structure resembling an elaborate temple. No visitor to the "temple" has returned sane enough to provide a coherent description   

Exploration by astronauts (officially denied)Undecided 

NASA has officially declared that none of the Apollo astronauts landed anywhere near the Dark Side; but they do admit that Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt pestered them for a chance to travel to the so-called Vader's Temple region.

NASA however claims that Schmitt had no intention of making offerings at the temple, he just wanted to check out the stonework; and in any case, permission to go there was refused.  

Unanswered questions

Critics have pointed out that the official NASA story fails to answer key questions:

  • Whether post-mission medical examination of the Apollo 17 astronauts revealed dark markings on their chests, of the sort once called "witches' marks"?
  • Why was the post-mission press conference with the astronauts postponed?
  • When the press conference did go ahead, was Schmitt's place taken by his identical twin brother?
  • Why the three moon missions scheduled to follow Apollo 17 were all abruptly cancelled?

A saucerful of secrets-Pink Floyd