Time-lapse movie of moon images shows rotation not seen from Earth

Sept. 16, 2013 at 7:37 PM
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GREENBELT, Md., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- NASA has put together a time-lapse video from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images it says reveals the moon's rotation, something we can't see from Earth.

Although the moon does rotate, it is tidally locked to the Earth, meaning its rotation rate exactly matches it orbital period around our world, so only one of its hemispheres is visible to observers on Earth.

NASA and Arizona State University have stitched together a time-lapse movie from images from the wide-angle camera on the LRO that has been orbiting the moon since 2009, CNET reported Monday.

The camera has been used to image individual features and create mosaics of the moon.

The 24-second movie is a condensation of the lunar month, beginning with the normal view of the moon from Earth but then showing the "dark" or far side of the moon, exhibiting a relative lack of surface features compared with the side normally seen from Earth.

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