|About 1,300 images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
spacecraft's wide angle camera were used to compose this
spectacular view of a
familiar face -
the lunar nearside.
But why is there a lunar nearside?
Moon rotates on its axis and
the Earth at the same rate, about once every 28 days.
in this configuration, the
synchronous rotation always keeps one side, the nearside,
As a result, featured in remarkable detail in the
full resolution mosaic,
the smooth, dark,
lunar mare (actually lava-flooded impact basins),
and rugged highlands, are well-known
to earthbound skygazers.
To find your favorite
mare or large crater, just slide your cursor over
The LRO images
used to construct the mosaic were recorded over
a two week period last December.
Arizona State Univ. /