The Moon, our faithful celestial companion, has always been an object of fascination for humanity. As we observe it from Earth, there is one part of the Moon that remains stubbornly out of our view: the hidden phase of the Moon. This mysterious side of the Moon is the subject of many speculations and fascinating scientific discoveries. In this article, we will delve into the enigmatic world of the hidden phase of the Moon.
The history of discovery
The hidden phase of the Moon remained elusive until the mid-20th century. Before then, Earth observers could only speculate about what was on the far side of the Moon. The first vision of the hidden phase was made possible thanks to space missions. In 1959, the Soviet Union launched the Luna 3 probe, which captured the first images of the hidden phase of the Moon and returned them to Earth. These images revealed a very different landscape from the visible side of the Moon, with smaller and more numerous craters.
The hidden phase of the Moon has distinct geological characteristics compared to the visible side. One of the most striking differences is the high number of craters. The hidden phase is much more densely riddled with craters, suggesting that it has been subject to intense meteor bombardment during its history. Scientists think this could be because the hidden phase is older than the visible side and therefore has had more time to accumulate impacts.
Additionally, the hidden phase of the Moon is home to impressive mountains and valleys, although less spectacular than the mountains visible on the front side. One of the largest mountain ranges on the Moon, the South Central Mountains, is on the hidden phase. These geological features provide valuable insight into the tumultuous history of our natural satellite.
The mysteries of the hidden phase
The hidden phase of the Moon continues to raise many questions and mysteries. One of the most intriguing concerns the difference in thickness of the lunar crust between the visible side and the hidden phase. Recent studies suggest that the crust of the hidden phase is thicker, which could be the result of an as yet unknown geological process. Scientists are still trying to understand why this asymmetry exists.
Another mystery concerns the composition of lunar soil. The Apollo missions collected samples from the visible side of the Moon, but we have not yet been able to obtain rocks from the hidden phase. Scientists hope that future lunar missions can address this gap and give us insight into the unique composition of the hidden phase.
Exploring the hidden phase of the Moon is a growing area of interest for space agencies around the world. China already successfully landed a rover on the far side of the Moon, named Chang’e 4, in 2019. This rover made significant discoveries, including the detection of unusual materials on the surface. Other missions, like NASA’s Artemis, also plan to explore the hidden phase of the Moon in the near future.
In summary, the hidden phase of the Moon remains a fascinating mystery that continues to intrigue scientists and astronomers around the world. Its unique geological features, unsolved mysteries, and potential to reveal secrets about the history of our solar system make it a captivating area of study. As future space missions take us further into exploring this unknown side of the Moon, we can expect exciting new discoveries that will expand our understanding of our closest natural satellite