Talk:Far side of the Moon

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Far side not permanently the side not facing us[edit]

Yeah, so in the beginning of the article, it says "The far side of the Moon is the lunar hemisphere that is permanently turned away from the Earth." I just wanted to mention that technically, it's not permanent. "The moon is moving away from Earth at a speed of about 1 1/2 inches (3.8 centimeters) per year."ref Because of the conservation of angular momentum, this means that rotation and the revolution of the moon must slow down. So, technically, the same side of the moon didn't used to always face us, and it won't always. Also, the rotation of the earth, and because of that, the revolution of the earth, slows down at a VERY slow rate. To be accurate, I think we should change the article to say "that is currently always turned away from the Earth." However, because the source costs money, here is a free look at it, from NASA's website! ObiBinks (talk) 19:27, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

This analysis is not quite correct. The Moon is tidally locked to the earth. As it recedes from the earth, its rate of rotation about its axis, and revolution about the Earth, decrease in lockstep. The earth's gravity, pulling more strongly on the nearside bulge, provides a torque that ensures this. So the word "permanently" is correct. Mark Foskey (talk) 13:47, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Why are there no high-quality pictures available of the Far side of the Moon?[edit]

I find this peculiar, anyone care to explain? This is one of the main conspiracy head-ups, what is hiding back there?

darkest continent[edit]

Are there any objections to removing the following text:

"It is similar to the use of the expression "darkest continent", which portrayed the lack of knowledge concerning the conditions in the interior of the African continent by most of Europe in the 19th century."

Strictly speaking, you can make an argument that it is related to the rest of the paragraph. However, I do not think this passage enhances the quality of the article. Hiberniantears 21:20, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)


I've moved the page because I almost never hear it referred to as just "far side" without "of the moon" appended on first reference, so I thought it would make more sense to use a name that doesn't need an extra disambiguator. Night Gyr 11:19, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Dark side is not far side[edit]

the dark side of the moon and the far side of the moon are not the same thing. the far side is the side facing away from earth. however, during a new moon, the dark side is the side facing earth. during a half moon, you can see half of the dark side of the moon. why then does "dark side of the moon" redirect here? 17:54, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

because dark is also used in the metaphoric sense unknown (Dark Ages, Africa the Dark Continent). —Tamfang 18:20, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
As it says in this article under "History". --Heron 18:26, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
The "history" section correctly notes that the far side is not the same thing as the dark side. On that basis, I am editing the introduction to make it clear that "the dark side of the moon" is not an alternative name for "the far side of the moon". Ordinary Person 07:43, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, the phrase "dark side of the moon" is a common reference to the far side. I know that it is not actually dark, but as has been mentioned this is something of a literary device. if you want a source, five minutes on google turned up a nasa astrophysicist explaining how the dark side of the moon is not realy dark with seemingly no confusion on his part.[1]. I believe that it is fairly clear that it is a common term for it and if you say 'dark side of the moon' people will either think you are talking about the side of the moon you never see from earth, or a pink floyd album. I think mentioning the fact that in common usage the phrase is a reference to the far side would enhance the article, and I think it should definately show up when someone searches for "dark side of the moon" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
But it is actually dark. As Tamfang points out above, "dark" has meanings besides "poorly lit". The article, and many comments here, are written with the assumption that people who refer to the far side of the moon as "the dark side" don't understand astronomy. In fact, they do understand astronomy, but they also know what "dark" means. It's rather like debunking the phrase "darkest Africa" by pointing out that the sunlight is actually quite intense in sub-Saharan Africa. TypoBoy (talk) 18:43, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
It's honestly pretty annoying the way it's just taken for granted as OK to say "the term 'dark side of the moon' is commonly used incorrectly to refer to the far side" which is basically saying "almost everyone uses this phrase, and they are all wrong" (talk) 17:58, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. I use the phrase "dark side" to mean the hidden side, however I acknowledge that other people use it to mean the unlit side since "dark" can mean either hidden or unlit (from a similar vein as black also meaning hidden in things like black market, and black ops). However to flag either usage as incorrect or erroneous is wrong - both meanings are in usage so it is enough to say the far side is sometimes known as the dark side. As such to keep a NPOV I've removed the word "erroneously" in the lead. Ethorad (talk) 13:11, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." - Bertrand Russell. Shall Wikipedia support or give equal time to the position held by millions of people that the evening of 12/31/1999 was the "eve of the millenium"? Earrach (talk) 02:06, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Likewise then even if the Tupac "hologram" stage effect had absolutely nothing to do with holography we are all to accept the stage trick actually used ("pepper box") henceforth as a "hologram" simply because the media has made the public misidentify the technology. Ignorance steadily perpetuated in the media shall continue to trump the truth? Looking around here, I suppose we have to surrender. Earrach (talk) 21:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

yes, if that's the name people are using for it we should use the name people use for it. Unless you want to go to the Red Sea article and petition that it should be renamed because it's actually quite blue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:02, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

I've heard no one with a sense of what they're talking about refer to the far side as the "dark side" aside from busting the old myth that one side of the moon is always dark. In fact, I've heard far more people shoot down the "dark side" claim than people actually referring to the far side as the "dark" side. Nowhere else, besides Wikipedia, can I find a statement saying the equivalent of "the far side of the moon can also be called the dark side." The closest I can find from modern sources that could be considered reliable are statements such as "there's not actually a dark side of the moon -- the far side just never faces the Earth." Others in the other "dark side" section down below seem to have had slightly better luck, but it's still hardly enough to justify using "dark side" as a synonym for "far side." Not saying it shouldn't be mentioned, but the consensus everywhere but here evidently is that the dark side is not the same as the far side. ALK (Talk) 05:02, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't get how "dark side of the moon" being a common name for the far side is a contentious issue. It's not previous, or obsolete, it's present day and common and I would imagine quite a few people who are looking for this article came here via the google search "dark side of the moon space". Saying it's "incorrect" is like saying the name "Michael" is incorrect (unless it's applied to someone who truly is like god), or the "Black Sea" is wrong because it's more of a dark blue, it's a name for it, not a technical description. Can I mention a few sources for this? [2] [3] [4] [5] [6], that was like five minutes of looking, all of these articles refer to the far side as the dark side either explicitly or interchangeably. I'm not a regular editor so maybe there is something wrong about my sources or something, am I missing something here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


Should "Dark Side Of The Moon" really redirect here? I'm sure that most people are looking for the Pink Floyd album...Grymsqueaker 16:53, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. Dark Side of the Moon is one of the best selling albums in music history and most people are probably trying to reach that article. It seems kind of ridiculous that typing in "Dark Side of the Moon" takes you to this page, especially when you consider that "Dark Side of the Moon" isn't even the title of the article! Wikipediarules2221 00:46, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  • if the redirect is changed it should still be listed on the disambiguation, a lot of people refer to the far side as the dark side. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:47, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure if this sentence belongs here:

"Because the near side is partly shielded from the solar wind by the Earth, the far side maria are expected to have the highest concentration of Helium-3 on the surface of the Moon. This isotope is relatively rare on the Earth, but has good potential for use as a fuel in fusion reactors. Proponents of lunar settlement have cited presence of this material as a reason for development of a Moon base."

While the farside of the Moon might be "partially shielded" from the solar wind, I doubt if this is significant. I would guess this might give rise to a difference of only 5%. In all likelihood, local geologic conditions and regolith composition is more important than this effect. Lunokhod 19:19, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Puhleeeze. More like the wind reduction your face would be afforded by a golf ball 12 feet directly upwind of you. And, even then we would only come inline for a day or two only on the very occasional months producing solar eclipses. SEE: Earrach (talk) 02:32, 8 January 2014 (UTC)


I think the possibility of there being an alien base on the far side of the moon should be briefly mentioned, to most people it probably sounds crazy but I am open minded and I'm sure alot of Wikipedia readers are as well. I have read on websites and heard from documentaries that when the astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission went around the moon to the far side where they lost radio communication they saw a massive dome shaped building and what appeared to be a destroyed city. However I think any evidence I can find wouldn't be considered creditible so such a section may not be plausible. What do you guys think? Black death 00:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I think you've got it exactly right: for Wikipedia, it doesn't matter what's true about sightings of an alien dome on the fair side of the moon. What matters is whether there's a reliable published source to cite that says anything about it. So... find that source and add a sentence or two based on what is says about alien domes, using that source as a reference! Sdsds 04:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your help, I found an article (, would it be considered a reputable secondary source? Also would I need a primary source as well to make a new section? Black death 21:12, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Reading through that article was interesting. I noticed, very close to its end it says, "The last humans to touch the lunar surface were Russians aboard the probe Luna 24." Too bad Luna 24 was a robotic mission, with no humans on board. Do you think that inaccuracy in any way detracts from the believability of the other claims the article makes? Sdsds 04:50, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It seems like a careless mistake, we all make mistakes however when you're writing an article for a reputable site like you should be researching more thoroughly. I don't want to say that the article is unreputable but it should have been written with greater care. Since such an inconsistency arose I'll try to look for another reputable source but If I can't find one I'll use the one anyways since it's mostly well researched.Black death 23:22, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Published evidence is just the difference between "it is possible that there are alien cities on the moon" and "one popular but unsupported theory says that there are alien cities on the moon." As long as we can document that a significant number of people believe or have seriously considered it, I think it's worth mentioning that fact. It may not deserve its own section or anything, but a short mention somewhere in the article seems reasonable to me. -- 03:55, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I think if such a section is added, it should be mentioned that there used to be a significant number of people who belived this. While it is true that the Apollo 8 astronauts lost radio contact on the far side, they regained it on the other side, and, being the first humans to see the far side first hand would have promptly reported on any sightings. Later, apollos 9-17 all saw the far side at least once. If something were there one of them would have reported it. just a thought.
It is possible that there is a three-headed green dragon that breathes fire, ice, and Phil Collins music in my broom closet, but nobody has ever seen it! Really, folks, I hope we can keep the fringe stuff out of a very nice article on the Moon.
I actually added a brief section on UFO sightings and alien bases last year, but it was later removed by another editor. If there are no objections within a reasonable amount of time (say, a month), I will restore it. --Ixfd64 (talk) 02:49, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Luna3 photo, v. newer photo at top[edit]

help, all I can connect, is Mare Moscow CorvetteZ51 14:17, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm serious now...[edit]

What about adding information (even calling it skeptical) about subjects like this:; also discussed here. Timneu22 23:57, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Dark side of the moon[edit]

The article currently says that "the dark side of the moon" is incorrect. I was pretty sure that it is not incorrect, the meaning of dark being metaphor for "unknown" or "unseen". I searched the Oxford English Dictionary for clarification and, sure enough, that is a meaning of "dark" although they do not have an entry for "dark side of the moon" itself. Disappointed by the lack of detail, I e-mailed the OED:

I have searched the dictionary both on paper and on-line, but I can find no meaning or history of the expression "dark side of the moon". I am sure this was once a common expression for meaning the "far side of the moon" and is still in use albeit deprecated for being a bit confusing - the dark side of the moon is obviously not constantly unilluminated.

They told me that my explanation of the expression was correct - although I don’t suppose that is a definitive answer.

I searched through Google books and I found several examples prior to 1850 that used "dark side" in the metaphorical sense. This example from 1855 makes this usage clear:

"The dark side of the moon, which has always a night of fourteen days, being without the compensating earth-light, (which is indefinitely more brilliant than our moon-light,) must be an excellent place for penal colonies and observatories, so that [the inhabitants of the moon] perhaps chain their convicts to mural circles, and confer tickets of leave on the most successful users of the transit instrument."
The Planets, The National Review, volume 1, July-October 1855, London, p. 79.

I had no difficulty in finding examples of a similar date with "dark side" meaning the shaded side.

Gaius Cornelius (talk) 17:27, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Brian Cox (physicist) used the expression as meaning the unseen side of the moon in his Wonders of the Universe series. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 17:18, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Volcanism - new info[edit]

"We've known for awhile that the Compton-Belkovich had an unusually high thorium content," Glotch said. "Now we can positively say that that thorium is related to these silicic volcano materials." I made a mention on the talk:Geology of the Moon#Volcanism but I thought I'd flag it here too.


The section on the potential of the far side of the moon serving as a location for radio telescopes has a paragraph which discusses several problems which would need to be considered or overcome:

"Before deploying radio telescopes to the far side, several problems must be overcome. The fine lunar dust can contaminate equipment, vehicles, and space suits. The conducting materials used for the radio dishes must also be carefully shielded against the effects of solar flares. Finally the area about the telescopes must be protected against contamination by other radio sources"

It seems that another consideration would be the fact that the far side is also likelier to be subject to impactors coming from outer space, as noted in the Differences section. Is this not really a big concern? Perhaps there are not really enough impactors left out there now for this to be a problem worth considering? Or is this a detail which has been overlooked in this paragraph and perhaps should be added in (and is anyone aware of a proper reference noting this concern)? Tenmiles (talk) 01:04, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Interesting question. The whole differences section is lacking in references. Personally I would think it unlikely that either side of the moon receives significantly different levels of impactors and that the sheilding effect of the earth would be quite small. Of course the moon used to be much closer to the earth and there again it used to rotate, so I guess things were different in the past. I thought, and I must have gotton this from somewhere, that there are more seas on the near side of the moon because tidal forces resulted in more volcanism there than on the far side and this had the effect of covering over old craters. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 07:40, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Naming Conventions?[edit]

What are the names of important features on the far side? I seem to recall that some author (Asamov?) proposed some sort of naming convention and it was actually adopted. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 09:27, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Deleted quote about its visual appearance?[edit]

In the Exploration section, there is the following paragraph:

The far side was first seen directly by human eyes during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. Astronaut William Anders described the view:

No quote follows. --anon. (talk) 00:44, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Restored--Debouch (talk) 01:41, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

NASA plans for manned missions to the far side[edit]

In the section Alleged UFO sightings and conspiracies, it says NASA "in 2006 announced plans for manned missions to the far side of the Moon." I believe those plans were since shelved so this bit of info should be deleted. --anon. (talk) 00:52, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Nominating the removal of the (any) section of the article about Aliens & UFO theories.[edit]

This is supposed to be an article about the the far-hemisphere of the Moon's surface. The relevance of UFO lore to this topic is no more relevant here than placing a section on UFO sightings in a Wikipedia article about Chicago because UFOs had been reported over the city on occasions x, y, and z. This article has been taken over by UFO hobbyists with an inadequate understanding of the precepts of Wikipedia. I am not promoting "censorship", simply the application of an appropriate degree of editing where it is merited. Earrach (talk) 01:56, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree. This UFO lore could be applied to any article on Wikipedia. I think it's simply un-encyclopedic. Encyclopedias should have content that is fact-based. Perhaps this content is better suited to being on the article on UFOs. I think it should be deleted from this page. (talk) 19:00, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree it should be removed. It does not belong in an encyclopedia. TowardsTheLight (talk) 20:55, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Harrison Schmitt second ?? to last to step **onto** the Moon[edit]

Schmitt was THE last to step ONTO the Moon. Cernan as Commander was first out.

Schmitt was second last to step OFF of the Moon. Cernan was last one.

Nitpick, yes. :-) (talk) 23:18, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Like this page, helped me understand my science homework, but maybe it should be under dark side of the moon cuz more people call it that ,so they wont have to redirect — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Not seen from ground[edit]

Actually, it was. A few, if not most or all, of the Apollo missions that landed on earth landed on the Far Side. So there have been sightings from the ground!

Unless, of course, you mean from the earth's ground.

To know why I said this, read introductory paragraph. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

No points of reference in the Apollo 16 photo and the LRO photo[edit]

I am unable to find a single common point of reference between the Apollo 16 photo of the far side of the Moon and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) detail view. The two photos don't even look like the same celestial body. I tried different rotations to see if one photo might be turned on its side or upside-down. I mirror flipped the images. I assumed the the LRO image might be distorted because it is likely showing a full 180 degree projection of the sphere. I tried assuming the Apollo 16 photo might be showing only a very narrow angle of arc because the photo was taken so close to the Moon; therefore, it's image might show a much smaller area compared the the LRO photo. I tried to imagine how the different light angles might distort crater shadows creating very different contrasts to the craters. I thought that maybe the Apollo 16 photo might have more overlap between the near side and the far side. Nothing has helped. I can't find a single common crater. I can't say if these photos are even of the same object... Can anyone identify a few common reference points or help get me oriented? I'm hoping it's one of those things where once I see the common points that it will suddenly pop out at me and seem obvious, or at least eliminate my doubts that these photos show the same side of the same celestial body. NoahSpurrier (talk) 00:19, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

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