The Full Rotation of the Moon: A Beautiful, High Resolution Time Lapse Film

This is a sight to behold. Above, the moon spins in full rota­tion, all in high-res­o­lu­tion footage tak­en by The Nation­al Aero­nau­tics and Space Admin­is­tra­tion.

Here’s how NASA explains what you’re see­ing:

No one, present­ly, sees the Moon rotate like this. That’s because the Earth­’s moon 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. The above time-lapse video starts with the stan­dard Earth view of the Moon. Quick­ly, though, Mare Ori­en­tale, a large crater with a dark cen­ter that is dif­fi­cult to see from the Earth, rotates into view just below the equa­tor. From an entire lunar month con­densed into 24 sec­onds, the video clear­ly shows that the Earth side of the Moon con­tains an abun­dance of dark lunar maria, while the lunar far side is dom­i­nat­ed by bright lunar high­lands.

You can find many more Lunar Recon­nais­sance Orbiter videos on this page, and down­load your own copy of the Moon Rota­tion Movie right here.

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via @ZonePhysics

Relat­ed Con­tent:

NASA Cre­ates a Visu­al­iza­tion That Sets Breath­tak­ing Footage of the Moon to Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” (Moon­light)

Watch the Orig­i­nal TV Cov­er­age of the His­toric Apol­lo 11 Moon Land­ing: Record­ed on July 20, 1969

The Source Code for the Apol­lo 11 Moon Land­ing Mis­sion Is Now Free on Github


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.