HomeThis week in history1959: First Photographs of the Dark Side of the Moon

1959: First Photographs of the Dark Side of the Moon

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On this day, 26th October, in 1959, the ‘dark’ side of the Moon was seen for the first time. The images were broadcast by the Soviet Union from their satellite Luna 3, which transmitted the images over 300,000 miles (483,000 km) to Earth.

The dark side of the Moon, officially called the far side of the moon, is never seen on Earth, due to the moon’s rotational speed matching up to its orbital speed around the Earth. Until 1959 the people of Earth had only ever seen 59% of the Moon, with the other 41% remaining a mystery.

The photographs that were taken by Luna 3 showed a completely different landscape to the Moon than had been seen before. This region of the moon was mostly craterous; however two new seas were discovered, the Sea of Moscow and the Sea of Desire.

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