Why we see only one side of the Moon

Posted October 9th, 2011 by Cuevas Dudea

We see only one side of the moon because the moon is tidally locked to Earth. Although this sounds like we’re talking about ocean tides, the term used to describe the effect of the Earth’s gravitational field of the moon. The most descriptive term used to describe this phenomenon is captured rotation.

Captured rotation is when gravity is on one side of an astronomical body always be someone else. Many people think it is because the astronomical bodies (the Moon) does not rotate on its axis, but it is not. A celestial body that is rotating caught as much time to turn on its axis as it rotates around its partner. This is the synchronous rotation, which causes one side of the moon facing Earth. Though it may seem strange, it’s normal, and most moons in our solar system is in synchronous rotation with their parent planets.

A simple experiment you can do to show that the effect is a friend at your side, while facing a wall. Then get your friend to “orbit” around but still facing the wall opposite him. You will realize that if he is still staring at the wall, in orbit, there are cases in which the back, front and sides are facing you. This is what would happen if the moon does not rotate on its axis, sometimes you see on each side of her.

Now he has his friend while he’s orbit in front of you. You will notice at some point, to keep up, you should contact. This “round” is the same as the moon rotates on its axis to keep out the Earth.

Another good way to visualize this is to see this video from NASA. This video is of their series of brain injections of education.