The riddle of the name of the dark side of the moon

The riddle of the name of the dark side of the moon

A composite image from NASA 2011 shows the reverse (dark) side of the moon. Because of the tides, the rotation of the satellite around the Earth and its axial rotation almost coincide, therefore we always see one side, and the second remains out of sight

Despite the familiarity of the name, the reverse side of the moon is not at all dark. It is simply not visible by earth observers. But now this situation is fixable thanks to the landing of the Chinese apparatus on the dark side.

The second half of the moon periodically sees the sun, so it is illuminated and not enclosed in eternal darkness. Where did the name come from? It is necessary to carefully study the relationship of the moon and the Earth. Our satellite performs rotation around the axis and around the planet. These periods practically coincide, therefore the earth observer sees only one side, while the second remains mysterious and unexplored. When a darkened New Moon opens before us, the reverse side of the Moon is illuminated. But in the Full Moon period, the second side remains in darkness. Some believe that the phrase “the dark side of the moon” originated in 1955 in the Walt Disney television series, where it was said that it was always dark on the back.

The term itself appeared in 1973 with the release of the music album Pink Floyd. Until the landing of the Chinese apparatus, the researchers received several detailed photos taken from orbit. The very first grainy footage arrived from the Soviet ship in 1959. The Apollo 8 mission astronauts first saw the dark side 50 years ago from the lunar orbit.

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