SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Far side of the Moon. This image was taken by the Soviet Luna 3 probe, the first spacecraft to photograph the Moon's far side. The Moon's rotational period is the same as the time it takes to orbit the Earth, meaning it presents the same face to us at all times. It was not until the launch of this probe, on 4th October 1959, that the far side was seen on the 7th. The far side has fewer large dark maria (seas) than the near side, and is primarily an expanse of cratered highlands.
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