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10 Crackpot Theories About Space

        Science | Astronomy

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Earth's Moon Doesn't Rotate
The moon does indeed rotate, we promise. ©iStock/Thinkstock
The moon does indeed rotate, we promise. ©iStock/Thinkstock

It's one of those shower-thought moments that strikes novice astronomers from time to time -- when you look up at the moon, it always looks the same. Why doesn't the moon spin?

Actually, the moon does rotate but it takes nearly an Earth month to do so. As it spins, it's also circling the Earth, and as it does, the same side of the moon faces our planet. This is called synchronous rotation and it ensures that the man in the moon always has a good view of us.

We don't always see a simple static view of the moon, though. During certain periods of its orbit, the moon is tilted just enough for us to see a sliver more of its surface. That amounts to just less than 10 percent of extra moon real estate, but it's a tantalizing glimpse of the "dark" side of the moon, which features massive numbers of craters from millions of years of bashing from space objects.


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