How to see the Farside of the Moon

Its not a joke you can see the farside of the Moon, while the moon appears to always show one side of it to us, that isn't actually true. You can use your location of the Earth and some knowledge about the most favourable lunar libration times, to observe around the horizon of the moon. We calculate these times for you and put them in our quarterly astronomy almanac. The almanac covers the astronomical events that we are able to calculate in advance, due to the known orbits of the planets and moons in the solar system. 

Occasionally multiple librations can occur on the same day, this is a great time to see a much larger section of the Moon's horizon.

One of the important things to realize when using the almanac is the where the compass directions are in relation to the surface of the moon. Because this may not be what you would expect and may cause you to look at the wrong section of the moon after reading about when the next libration will occur! Use the image to the right to know what side to look at as you can see the Sea of Crisis is roughly in the East and the Tycho Crater is in the South.

After a quick watch of the video below you can use these techniques to observe features like the Mare Orientale in the east of the moon and the Mare Australe on the southern limb.

You don't need anything other than a good pair of binoculars to see this effect, although a high powered telescope certainly won't harm. A good way to see the changes is to draw or photograph the surface of the Moon and compare the changes night to night. 

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