Far side of the Moon captured on video, sadly no aliens
NASA has captured footage of the far side of the Moon -- check it out here.
The Moon is showing off a side we never get to see, thanks to video captured by the geniuses at NASA.
A 30-second video clip showing the far side of our tide-managing space friend has been recorded by one of NASA's twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL for short) spacecraft.
We've embedded the video below for your delectation. We've scoured the clip frame by frame for signs of alien life and come up empty, but you can clearly see the Moon's north pole at the top of the screen, with the south pole looming into view at the bottom of the screen as the craft zooms toward it.
NASA's detailed a few landmarks to look out for (in case you ever get lost on the dusty satellite), so see if you can spot the Mare Orientale, a 560-mile wide basin caused by the impact of an asteroid-sized object. It's got three concentic circles -- here's a picture if you need a clue.
A little to the left and near the bottom of the screen, space cadets will spy the 93-mile wide Drygalski crater, which boasts a recognisable star-shaped formation in the middle.
As if GRAIL wasn't enough, backronym fans will be delighted to learn the footage was nabbed using a MoonKAM, or 'Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle-school students', which will let kids select areas of the big rock to investigate, before having the photos sent back to them for study. And to think we made do with Jaffa Cakes for our lunar education.
The GRAIL mission comprises two craft, called Ebb and Flow. Ebb was the one that captured this footage, and each craft is about the size of a washing machine. Adorable!
Check out the footage below, and let us know what you think the Moon is hiding in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.