In scientific terms, the moon is tidally locked. That is, the same side of the moon always faces the Earth.
It wasn't until 1959 that the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft took images of the far side of the moon, showing us something quite unusual: The far side looked totally different than the near side with a thick crust on the surface and few volcanoes. It was a different world from the moon we saw from Earth.
Fast forward more than 50 years. In early 2011, a NASA spacecraft shot images of the far side of the moon, and in 2012, NASA's GRAIL lunar spacecraft has returned the first video from the far side.
Click here to view NASA's 30-second video clip of the far side of the moon.
In the video, the north pole of the moon is visible at the top of the screen as the spacecraft flies toward the lunar south pole. One of the first prominent geological features seen on the lower third of the moon is the Mare Orientale, a 560 mile-wide (900 kilometer) impact basin that straddles both the moon's near and far side.
The clip ends with rugged terrain just short of the lunar south pole. To the left of center, near the bottom of the screen, is the 93 mile-wide Drygalski crater with a distinctive star-shaped formation in the middle. The formation is a central peak, created many billions of years ago by a comet or asteroid impact.
Click here to see two larger images of the far side of the moon, which looks very different from the near side that we can see from Earth.
--From the Editors at Netscape