Dark Side Of The Moon?

I have been taught that we always see the same side of the moon.  The other half is called the dark side of the moon.  Is this dark side really dark, or is it really bright when the moon is a new moon?  I know this is a stupid question, but I just wan't to clarify with so many dark sides.

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Kiteman5 years ago
As noted elsewhere, the Moon is tidally-locked to Earth, so the same side always faces us. This means that the Moon rotates once upon its axis once per orbit (roughly once per month).

So, like the Earth, the Moon has day and night, but each lasts about two weeks.

The "dark side" is the side that is experiencing night at any particular time. During a "new" Moon, the dark side is the side facing Earth directly.

The better name for the side of the Moon we never see from Earth is "far side".

Oh, and yes, the dark side is really dark (and cold, over 200 degrees below freezing), although there is a certain amount of indirect illumination, sunlight reflected from the Earth - Earthlight.
Kiteman5 years ago
Not an answer, but a nice video of the Far Side:


IS7775 years ago
There is NO DARK SIDE.

the misnomer comes from earthbound observers
who only saw the 'light' side, not knowing that the moon rotated around earth.
said rotation gives Luna a 'day' of approximately 28 terrestrial days.
hence there is no 'dark' side.
kelseymh5 years ago
Only Pink Floyd has a Dark Side Of The Moon.

As the Moon itself rotates, obviously half of it is illuminated by the Sun, while the other half is dark. The Moon's rotation is tidally locked to the Earth. So from the Earth's surface, we always see the same face of the Moon.

If you combine those two observations, the result is the phases of the Moon.
Inb4 "except during lunar eclipses." Duh.
That was/is a great album.
jj.inc (author)  Re-design5 years ago
rickharris5 years ago
You need to have a look at Celestia - Its a free astronomical observatory on your PC.


It's very good
canucksgirl5 years ago
In case you're interested, I was just on CNN's website (reading up on another story) and they have an article with images (taken by NASA orbiter) showing the side of the moon that we don't see.

This way you can see for yourself. :)
lemonie5 years ago
I'd trust Wikipedia on this.

FoolishSage5 years ago
It is true that the same side of the moon always faces the earth. It rotates around its axis at the same rate that it orbits around the earth. The part that faces us is the Light side (which is not always light) and the side that faces away is the dark side (which is not always dark). It is just one of those weird things that we keep saying.. It might stem from some old belief but it is not actually associated with the amount of light either half of the moon receives.
Coincidentally I just saw on tv (literally less than 5 min ago) that thanks to an effect called Libration we can actually see about 59% of the moon as it moves around the earth. I dont see how that information could be useful but I thought it was interesting enough to share :)
Ok here is my answer
The sun is facing the Earth but the moon is blocking part of it. The sun reflects half the moon onto the Earth whilst the other side isnt affected by the light. This is why its called the dark side of the moon. There will always be a dark side of the moon anytime anywhere. Hope that help XD
Remember the moon rotates so the dark side will be in different spots at differnet times of its rotation cycle.