NASA imagery displays Moon's rotation - FOX 35 News Orlando

NASA imagery displays Moon's rotation

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For its "Astronomy Picture of the Day," NASA has released images which reveal the far side of the Moon as it rotates.  

The Moon's rotation is not visible, because it is tidally locked to the Earth, showing us only one side.

Given modern digital technology, however, combined with many detailed images returned by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a high resolution virtual Moon rotation movie has now been composed.

Time-lapse video starts with the standard Earth view of the Moon.  Then, an entire lunar month is condensed into 24 seconds.

Two new missions are scheduled to begin exploring the Moon within the year, the first of which is NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). LADEE, which launched just over a week ago, is scheduled to begin orbiting the Moon in October and will explore the thin and unusual atmosphere of the Moon.

In a few months, the Chinese Chang'e 3 is scheduled to launch, a mission that includes a soft lander that will dispatch a robotic rover.

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