The Moon’s Got A Sexy Rearside.

Enlarge. | Via.

Check out a look at the backside of the Moon. She’s got dumps like trucks, what, what. Or something.

Bad Astronomy:

It looks really different than the near side, doesn’t it? It’s almost entirely craters, while the side we see is dominated by huge lava filled basins called maria (Latin for “seas”). Why is that? Well, it’s known that the crust on the near side is thinner, so it’s easier for big impacts to have punched holes in the crust and allowed magma to bubble up (this was billions of years ago when the inner Moon was still molten).

But why does one side have a thick crust and the other thin? No one knows. Interestingly, it’s probably tides from the Earth that forced the Moon to have this asymmetry line up with us. The Moon causes tides in the Earth, but the Earth does the same for the Moon, and the tides we create on it are much more powerful, since the Earth is far more massive than the Moon. Tides like to stretch things, and they also like to have any imbalance settle along the Earth-Moon line.

I suppose it’s obvious to anyone with a functioning brainstem, but I had no fucking clue that the Earth caused tides on the Moon. Righteous.