The Full Moon Atlas

Full Moon Atlas:
The Lunar Far Side

Often referred to incorrectly as the "dark side" of the Moon — actually, at least half of the Moon is receiving sunlight at all times — humans did not get their first look at the Lunar far side until the Soviet Union's Luna 3 sent back a crude photograph in October 1959. Devoid of the vast, smooth mare (sea) regions found on the visible near side, the far side is essentially an immense crater field punctuated by only a few minor maria, including Mare Moscoviense (upper left in the photograph), Mare Ingenii (lower center) and Mare Orientale (lower right edge); Mare Australe (lower left edge) spans the region between the near and far sides on the visible southeastern limb. Please note that the geographic directions east and west are reversed on the far side.

Due to the lack of quality, full-disc photographs of the Lunar far side, we have chosen to include this flat projection because of the amount of detail it offers. While this projection may be slightly confusing at first, please note that objects appear closer to their actual shape, i.e., craters appear circular, rather than compressed, as you approach the edges of the photomap. This general map closely approximates Rükl's Atlas Of The Moon, p. 191.

Moving your cursor over major geographical features in the photograph below will trigger identifying flags.
· When displayed, approximate crater diameters (in kilometers) are shown within parenthesis.
· To move to an adjoining sector (when available), click on the direction indicator. For example, clicking on the "North" indicator moves you to the sector above the current one displayed.

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