Q: Why walk the moon always present the same face to us? I uncover it difficult to think that this might happen through chance. — Michael Connelly, Toronto

A: Nope, not by possibility — it’s pure physics.

You are watching: Why do we see essentially the same face of the moon

For starters, the moon is no stuck in location with one side facing us. Our lunar companion rotates while it orbits Earth. It’s just that the quantity of time that takes the moon to finish a revolution on the axis is the exact same it takes come circle our world — around 27 days. As a result, the very same lunar hemisphere always faces Earth.

How’d this pertained to be? In a word: gravity. The moon’s heaviness slightly warps ours planet’s shape and gives united state tides. Likewise, earth tugs in ~ the moon, creating a rocky, high-tide “bulge” dealing with us. That bulge ended up working favor a brake, slowly the moon’s spin under to the present rate, for this reason the lunar high birds permanently deals with us.

When the happened, about 4 billion years ago, the moon came to be “tidally locked,” and also it has actually presented united state the same visage ever before since.


1 complimentary article left
Want More? obtain unlimited access for as low together $1.99/month
Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or log in In


1 totally free articleSubscribe


*

Want more?
Keep reading for as low together $1.99!

Subscribe


Already a subscriber?

Register or log in In


Related Content

The Moon and also Your Mood


New Evidence says Apollo 11's Lunar ascent Module can Still be Orbiting the Moon


A Telescope on the Moon might Illuminate the Dark periods of the Universe


More from Discover
The Sciences
How Would human beings Decompose on Mars?
The Sciences
The Cannibalistic Chaos in ~ Planetary systems
The Sciences
The find for Alien artefacts Begins
The Sciences
This Cyclic design of the Universe has actually Cosmologists rethinking the large Bang
The Sciences
Asteroids: What lock Are and also Where they Come From
The Sciences
Turns Out, Venus (Almost) has Tectonic Plates
Recommendations From our Store
My scientific research ShopDiscover STEM Kits
My scientific research ShopDiscover 2022 Calendar
My science ShopStrange Science
My scientific research ShopElements Flashcards
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List
Sign up for our weekly scientific research updates.

See more: Printable Valentine Name Tags, Valentines Day Heart Name Tags


Sign Up
View our privacy policy
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the sheathe price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.


Subscribe
*
*
*
*
*
*

Website Accessibility
Login