Does the Dark Side of the Moon Ever Get Sunlight?

Despite the popularity of the term "dark side of the moon," the moon doesn't actually have a dark side that never receives sunlight. Instead, both sides of the moon — the one that faces Earth and the one that faces away from the Earth — have periods of light and darkness, and one side doesn't get more sunlight than the other. Many researchers note that the phrase "far side of the moon" is a much better descriptor.

More about the moon:

  • The 1959 Soviet Luna 3 mission took the first images of the far side of the moon back to Earth.

  • The moon is "tidally locked," which means that one side always faces Earth, no matter where the moon is in its orbit.

  • The far side of the moon has a look that is different from that of the near side. The near side is covered with lunar maria, plains that early astronomers thought were seas. The far side of the moon is covered with craters.

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