Does the Moon spin?

I just read that we always see the same side of the Moon. So it doesn’t spin on its axis?

I’m …uh…checking for our Chinese teachers…yeah…that’s it…checking

:blush:

That’s correct, the Moon doesn’t rotate on its axis. It does a different trick, it moves up and down, which is why it sometimes appears high in the sky and other times appears very low.

The …uh…Chinese teachers thank you. :notworthy:

S’right - it’s locked with the same side facing the earth - hence “the dark side of the moon”. There are small variations, but basically we see the same side all the time - it doesn’t spin. Found this cool picture of what we see over a month from earth - sped up.

[quote=“Taffy”]S’right - it’s locked with the same side facing the earth - hence “the dark side of the moon”. There are small variations, but basically we see the same side all the time - it doesn’t spin. Found this cool picture of what we see over a month from earth - sped up.

[/quote]

Triiiiiiiiiiiiiipy

make that my new avatar taffy!!

http://www.solarviews.com/cap/moon/vmoon1.htm

[quote=“jdsmith”][quote=“Taffy”]S’right - it’s locked with the same side facing the earth - hence “the dark side of the moon”. There are small variations, but basically we see the same side all the time - it doesn’t spin. Found this cool picture of what we see over a month from earth - sped up.

[/quote]

Triiiiiiiiiiiiiipy

make that my new avatar taffy!![/quote]

You’re welcome to it - trip away (legally and safely, of course :wink:). That slight swirling oscillation the moon does relative to us is called “libration”, apparently. So now you know. :smiley:

It does spin. But like many moons, the gravity of the host planet has over time caused the moon to keep one side to us.
If it didn’t spin, we would see the back as it rotated around us.

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]It does spin. But like many moons, the gravity of the host planet has over time caused the moon to keep one side to us.
If it didn’t spin, we would see the back as it rotated around us.[/quote]

Right, so it spins, but very slowly? How does this happen? Why is one side facing us the whole time? Yes, you said gravity of the host planet, but that would have to mean the moon is not spherical, wouldn’t it? Professor BFM - please explain. :smiley:

I think the moon is just shy. Besides, If we saw the dark side of the moon, that Pink Floyd album wouldn’t be half as good.

Except the term “dark side of the moon” is a misnomer, because during the New Moon, the far side is completely lit up by the sun.

And yes, it spins with a period equal to its orbit around the earth, a phenomenon called “tidal locking”, which eventually happens to small bodies that orbit close to massive bodies.

[quote=“Taffy”]Right, so it spins, but very slowly? How does this happen? Why is one side facing us the whole time? Yes, you said gravity of the host planet, but that would have to mean the moon is not spherical, wouldn’t it? Professor BFM - please explain. :smiley:[/quote]Gravity is sticky, rignt ? It’s what sticks us to the Earth and not fall off. It’s the same stickyness that makes the moon point its arse at us. Contrary to popular belief, and not wanting to think the moon would be so rude to us, its face is actually on the far side.

But it’s not spherical is it ? It has small lumpy bits. The earth also exerts tidal forces on the moon, squeezing it and making it bulgy. As it spins the bulges and squeezes move, which hurts (and causes friction, making it slow down), so the moon says “bugger it then, I’ll stay where I am”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_locking

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”][quote=“Taffy”]Right, so it spins, but very slowly? How does this happen? Why is one side facing us the whole time? Yes, you said gravity of the host planet, but that would have to mean the moon is not spherical, wouldn’t it? Professor BFM - please explain. :smiley:[/quote]Gravity is sticky, rignt ? It’s what sticks us to the Earth and not fall off. It’s the same stickyness that makes the moon point its arse at us. Contrary to popular belief, and not wanting to think the moon would be so rude to us, its face is actually on the far side.

But it’s not spherical is it ? It has small lumpy bits. The earth also exerts tidal forces on the moon, squeezing it and making it bulgy. As it spins the bulges and squeezes move, which hurts (and causes friction, making it slow down), so the moon says “bugger it then, I’ll stay where I am”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_locking[/quote]

:notworthy: Gotcha. Can I sign up for classes?

Yeah, and I bet it wouldn’t synch to the Wizard of Oz anymore either.

I was just thinking about the moon last night, as I’m wont to do every now and again. And I was wondering this very question. Celestia didn’t do a very good job since it’s hard to lock on the moon and see the phases. That clip is really cool.

[quote=“Chris”]Except the term “dark side of the moon” is a misnomer, because during the New Moon, the far side is completely lit up by the sun.

And yes, it spins with a period equal to its orbit around the earth, a phenomenon called “tidal locking”, which eventually happens to small bodies that orbit close to massive bodies.[/quote]

Actually, it’s not really facing the sun at that time. It’s light from the sun is occluded by the shadow of the earth. Or maybe I’m just wrong.

[quote=“Taffy”]S’right - it’s locked with the same side facing the earth - hence “the dark side of the moon”. There are small variations, but basically we see the same side all the time - it doesn’t spin. Found this cool picture of what we see over a month from earth - sped up.

[/quote]
I have a moon phase program on my phone (with real moon photos) and if I scroll through the dates quickly it does the same thing.

[quote=“ImaniOU”][quote=“Chris”]Except the term “dark side of the moon” is a misnomer, because during the New Moon, the far side is completely lit up by the sun.

And yes, it spins with a period equal to its orbit around the earth, a phenomenon called “tidal locking”, which eventually happens to small bodies that orbit close to massive bodies.[/quote]

Actually, it’s not really facing the sun at that time. It’s light from the sun is occluded by the shadow of the earth. Or maybe I’m just wrong.[/quote]You’re thinking of an lunar eclipse, which can only happen during a full moon, when the Earth is between the sun and moon.

The moon does spin…it just so happens that the time it takes it to make a complete rotation is exactly the same as the time it takes it to make a complete revolution around the earth…29.5 days.
The moon used to rotate much faster millions of years ago but Earth’s gravity made it slow down until it gravitationally locked to the earth…and that is why we only see one side of the moon. (59% of the surface to be exact)

There’s no dark side of the moon really. It’s all dark.
Taffy, that picture is absolutely hypnotic!

[quote=“sandman”]There’s no dark side of the moon really. It’s all dark.
Taffy, that picture is absolutely hypnotic![/quote]

Again, I think a little harsh, misunderstood maybe, artisticly (sp) inclined?, possibly autistic but totally dark? No, I think not. The Moon has shown a lot of promise in movement class. :laughing: