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Why Doesn't the Moon Spin?

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35 replies to this topic

#1    Still Waters

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:56 PM

I've been asked on a number of occasions recently why the moon always seems to show us the same face -- the lunar nearside. I'm not sure why there's the sudden interest, but it's a very good and valid question, especially as tonight (March 27) is a full moon.

Look at the moon at any time and -- aside from the constantly changing phases that are caused by changing relative positions of the Earth, the moon and sun -- it does indeed show us the same face, constantly. Perhaps surprisingly, it's 'non-rotation' (from our perspective) comes from its interaction with the Earth.

http://news.discover...cked-130327.htm

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#2    Lilly

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

It's a surprize to some that the moon does indeed rotate. If the Moon didn't rotate then we would actually see all sides of it!

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#3    AsteroidX

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

Because its smiling at us. :yes:  The moon is moving away from us however slowly. Which is interesting as well.


#4    praetorian-legio XIII

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:08 PM

Because its not a moon at all.

It was built as an alien outpost and always faces us on the same side because its engineers want to keep an eye on us.


#5    karrde

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:50 PM

This is a simple geometry - the moon rotates, but we see only one side because its self-rotating period is the same as its orbital period. Just put two balls on the table and try to simulate it yourself :)


#6    danielost

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:05 PM

Given enough time and the moon will only be visale from ne side of earth.  It will stil move north and south but will not move east, west.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#7    pallidin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:16 PM

View PostLilly, on 28 March 2013 - 08:22 PM, said:

If the Moon didn't rotate then we would actually see all sides of it!

Huh????

That is clearly a mis-statement.

How can one see "all sides" of anything that's not rotating. Excepting space-craft, going around the moon, of course.

Edited by pallidin, 31 March 2013 - 07:21 PM.


#8    danielost

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:28 PM

View Postpallidin, on 31 March 2013 - 07:16 PM, said:



Huh????

That is clearly a mis-statement.

How can one see "all sides" of anything that's not rotating. Excepting space-craft, going around the moon, of course.

Currently the moons orbit matches its rotation.  If the moon had no rotation it would always how the same face to the sun.  Meaning we would see all of the moon.  Each side facing the earth every two weeks give or take.  By the way that is how a lunar day is.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#9    pallidin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

View Postdanielost, on 31 March 2013 - 07:28 PM, said:

Currently the moons orbit matches its rotation.  If the moon had no rotation it would always how the same face to the sun.  Meaning we would see all of the moon.  Each side facing the earth every two weeks give or take.  By the way that is how a lunar day is.

Maybe it's just me, but in the last 40 years I have not seen the moon rotate even an inch. (from earth perspective)

I see the exact same moon craters as I saw 40 years ago.

Edited by pallidin, 31 March 2013 - 07:50 PM.


#10    danielost

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:56 PM

View Postpallidin, on 31 March 2013 - 07:46 PM, said:



Maybe it's just me, but in the last 40 years I have not seen the moon rotate even an inch. (from earth perspective)

I see the exact same moon craters as I saw 40 years ago.

From earth it doesn't look like it spinning.  Get a bucket and spin around.  Then have someone else do it while you watch, to the spinner the bucket will not seem to spin.  To the watcher it will.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#11    pallidin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

View Postdanielost, on 31 March 2013 - 07:56 PM, said:

From earth it doesn't look like it spinning.  Get a bucket and spin around.  Then have someone else do it while you watch, to the spinner the bucket will not seem to spin.  To the watcher it will.

Right, BUT THE BUCKET IS NOT ROTATING on it's own.


#12    danielost

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

View Postpallidin, on 31 March 2013 - 08:06 PM, said:



Right, BUT THE BUCKET IS NOT ROTATING on it's own.

Yes, it is it has to.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#13    pallidin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:16 PM

If a person in, say, North Amerca, observes different craters than those, say, in South America, than this would be a different story.

But, everyone on the planet earth see's the same craters as everyone else elsewhere

Do they not?

EDIT: Show me at least 1 earth observation that a different part of the earth has observed the "dark side" of the moon.

Edited by pallidin, 31 March 2013 - 08:18 PM.


#14    danielost

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:20 PM

View Postpallidin, on 31 March 2013 - 08:16 PM, said:

If a person in, say, North Amerca, observes different craters than those, say, in South America, than this would be a different story.

But, everyone on the planet earth see's the same craters as everyone else elsewhere

Do they not?

EDIT: Show me at least 1 earth observation that a different part of the earth has observed the "dark side" of the moon.

I can't from earth.  But thinking small.  Besides we see about 55% of ther moon.  The bucket analigy is a good one, because as with the bucket the earths gravity keeps the same side of the moon facing us.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#15    jules99

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:33 PM

View Postkarrde, on 31 March 2013 - 05:50 PM, said:

This is a simple geometry - the moon rotates, but we see only one side because its self-rotating period is the same as its orbital period. Just put two balls on the table and try to simulate it yourself :)
Agreed;
"The rotation of the Moon is a strange situation. It takes the same amount of time for the Moon to complete a full orbit around the Earth as it takes for it to complete one rotation on its axis. In other words, the Moon rotation time is 27.3 days, just the same as its orbital time: 27.3 days.
What this means to us here on Earth is that the Moon always presents the same face to the Earth. We only see one side of the Moon, and not the other. And if you could stand on the surface of the Moon, the Earth would appear to just hang in the sky, not moving anywhere."


Read more: http://www.universet.../#ixzz2P9hywJPP



http://www.universet.../moon-rotation/

Edited by jules99, 31 March 2013 - 09:35 PM.






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