The Far Side of the Moon
The “dark side” or “far side” of the Moon refers to the fact that only one side of the Moon, the “near side”, is visible to us on Earth. It was not until 1959 that the far side was first imaged by the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft. What it found was a surface very different then the visible side and that it was not “dark.” It receives the same amount of sunlight month-to-month as the near side that we see from Earth. But why do we only see one side?
This is because it takes about 29 days for the moon to make one complete orbit around the Earth. That’s also how long it takes the moon to make one rotation around its axis. Because the moon’s rotation and orbit take the same amount of time, we always see the same face of the moon no matter when we look at it.