Tidal Locking—Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

Turn to the dark side ... of the moon, that is! Young space explorers learn why the dark side of the moon is never visible here on Earth in an animated video. The resource shows how the moon formed, its dizzying early orbiting pattern, and how its interaction with Earth has resulted in a very one-sided relationship.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Incorporate the resource into a study of the moon or Earth's early history
  • Show images of the dark side of the moon, as well as the space exploration missions that have captured the images
Classroom Considerations
  • Ensure the class has an understanding of the Earth-moon relationship before watching the video
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Animated sequences show how Earth molded the moon's position and behaviors 
  • Presents the content so a wide variety of grades can learn from it
  • None
Common Core