The side of the Moon facing Earth is very different than the side facing away. Why? | By Phil Plait | JULY 1 2014

Why Do We Have a Two-Faced Moon?

The side of the Moon facing the Earth (left) is very different than the side facing away (right). Why?
Photo by NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Our Moon is weird. It’s pretty big compared with Earth, for one. It has a way lower density than Earth, but seems to have some similarities in chemical composition to our planet. It’s also two-faced: The near side looks a lot different than the far side, as you can see from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image above. The near side is splattered with dark regions (called maria, the plural of mare, Latin for “sea”). The far side barely has any.

Further study shows an odd anomaly: The crust on the far side is a lot thicker than it is on the near side. That explains the lack of maria; the thicker crust means it was harder for giant impacts to pierce the crust and get darker basaltic lava bubbling up. But why is the far side crust thicker? And why is this so neatly divided by the two hemispheres?

Via Slate

Menzi Kulati.

#BringBackOurGirls

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s