NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been looping around and around the Moon since 2009. Now the agency has released this video loop, compiled from who knows how many individual photographs, showing the entire surface of the Moon, including the ‘dark side’ previously seen only by astronauts. As Geekquinox explains:
The moon really does rotate, even though it doesn’t look like it from here. Because the moon is ‘tidally locked’ to the Earth, that means that it always has one face pointed towards us. However, it also means that the time it takes to rotate once is the same as the time it takes to go around the Earth — 27 days.
There’s more at the link. Here’s the video. I highly recommend watching it in full-screen mode.
I can remember the Moon landings very clearly. I’d expected there to be colonies on the Moon by now, perhaps even a tourist resort or two. I guess we dropped the ball on that one . . . but not to worry. China plans to have its astronauts on the moon within a year or two.