Does anyone have a reasonable explanation as to why we can only see one side of the moon from earth?
I believe it is because though the moon rotates around the earth, the moon does not revolve upon its axis as earth does, therefore, we can only see the one side that faces earth. Of course, I am no scientist, but this seems reasonable to me.
the same reason you can only see one side of a ball when you look at it.
The moon is tidally locked to Earth. It takes just as long to rotate around its axis as it does to revolve around the Earth, so you only get see one side.
@SheriSapp yes your answer is correct but it does not address of why the moon does not revolve around its axis like most other planets?
@nightwork4 but if that ball was turning we would be able to see all of the ball at some time or other. right. So perhaps the question should have been. Why does the moon NOT rotate on it's axis?
@sheerplan I thought it was the other way around. That the tides on earth were governed by the circumstances of the moon.
From what I have found in research the moon does not rotate on an axis point.
sheerplan is right. On the moon 1 day takes 1 month. If the earth's day (the time it takes it to rotate around its axis) was as long as one year (one round around the sun), half of our planet would constantly face the sun while the other half would never see the sun.
I hope someone will one day write a book about some creatures living on the "other" side of the moon who one day decide to go on a long journey and discover a beautiful, blue planet flowing above the horizon.
If SheriSapp's answer is correct, why does he/she need to address a different question? Why not ask, "Why the moon does not revolve around its axis like most planets?" in the first place?
Start a new question or add that to your original question. Don't move the goal post.
I would guess that that is because you can only see one side of a circle. . . . .no matter what. I could be wrong though, if you had an out of body experience, and could then see TWO "sides" of a circle, you'd have it at least. . . .half to mostly licked. Good luck on that.
My explanation is a little more irrational, so I won't post anything...
Sheerplan's answer is spot on. The moon is tidally locked to the Earth. A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner.
The moon does have a rotation, but that rotation speed has matched the speed of its revolution around the Earth. It always now shows the same face towards us.
The moon has become "tidally locked". How does this happen? Well, if the Moon were off by itself in space it would have a certain rotation-rate, but the Moon is next to a much bigger body, the Earth. The Moon raises ocean-tides on the Earth but that is nothing compared to what the Earth does to the Moon. A point nearest the Earth tries to rotate away, but it is being pulled by the Earth. Naturally, other parts of the Moon are rotating TOWARDS us and are also being pulled, but they are a little bit further away, if you do the math, by the rules of gravity are being pulled a little bit less. The Earth's gravity causes drag, and over a period of many hundreds of years, the Moon lost rotation relative to us, at least.
could be that the other side is still under construction, and they don't want us to see it until it's finished.
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