SCIENCE
09/17/2013 08:14 am ET

'Rotating Moon' VIDEO Shows Earth's Satellite In All Its Glory

You're probably used to looking up and seeing "the man in the moon" -- but what does our lovely satellite look like from other angles? A new NASA video shows the moon like you've never seen it before -- just watch it above.

This moving mosaic stitches together wide-angle-camera (WAC) images of the moon, captured from every angle by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images reflect brightness on the moon with high accuracy, thanks to the equations scientists used to counteract the sun and camera's effects on the images.

rotating moonFour views of the Moon. Upper left: (0°N, 0°E); Upper right: (0°N, 90°E); Lower left: (0°N, 180°E); Lower right: (0°N, 270°E)

But if the moon rotates, why does it always look the same from Earth? Because it's tidally locked to our planet -- that is, Earth's gravitational pull causes the moon to spin on its axis at the same rate it rotates around Earth.

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