No "seas" on far side

I am still sceptical about this explanation.
I can not see that the Earth’s heat could radiate all the way to the Moon. The Moon was closer in the past, but still…

Was the moon tidally ‘locked’ from its formation? If so, this explanation is quite plausible, if not, not.

Remember also that the Moon is receding from Earth and has been doing so since its formation. At the time of its formation, it would have been considerably closer. Moreover, the process of it becoming tidally locked would have “kneaded” the nearer side of the Moon more, thereby inducing frictional body heat in addition to the radiant heat from the cooling Earth, which had no atmosphere early on and so there was little to absorb the heat that it was radiating.


But only became tidally locked later on, as it was moving away from Earth.

Is there any reason why it couldn’t possibly just be coincidence that the far side is rough? What do we see on other tidally locked moons in the solar system? Could they cast some light on this?

If it is a coincidence, it’s a most remarkable one. Other planets’ moons may not be helpful in pointing towards an explanation because they are thought to be remnants or “crumbs” of planet formation processes (coalescence), rather than the collision of large celestial objects.


By the way, that hypothesis has had it’s first bit of evidence surface recently.

I did not realise that the moon’s rotation slowed down that fast. Here is a bit more on the two faces of the moon.

Currently, the earth’s continents are all on one side of the planet, with a huge ocean covering the other side. Of course not analogous to the lunar situation, but before we solve mysteries, we must be careful to make absolutely sure that there really is a mystery to solve.

The Earth is less perfectly spherical than the Moon and, unlike the latter, is still subject to significant ongoing tectonic and complex internal geophysical processes. The Moon’s internal structure is also considerably simpler than the Earth’s.

Wheedling out the right questions to ask in order that science can progress is indeed often both more important and trickier than answering them.


My thoughts exactly. The continents were once one, broke apart, and started spreading out… and are still spreading out. Going out on a limb: One day they may well be equally distributed around the globe.

One day they may well be equally distributed around the globe.
...and then all crash against each other one day? Some large mountain ranges no doubt will follow.

India is busy crashing into the rest of Asia, hence the Himalayas. Africa is crashing into Europe, hence the Alps. The Nazca and Antarctic plates are being thrust under the South American plate (i.e., another collision), hence the Andes.


The continents will probably eventually bunch together in a supercontinent again? Anyway, my point was just that there needn’t necessarily be any very special reason why a planet is asymmetrical.

But I am biased, because I recently read yet another article in which a researcher goes to great lengths to solve what is in fact a non-mystery:

I watched that docie it was produced by Penn and Teller the magicians.

I though it was very well done.
I don’t think they claim anything other than to say.
This is possible a certain way and to do it.

Tim does not come across as a researcher rather just some body that had an idea he wanted to try out.

I’ve got the movie (mainly becouse it’s produced by Penn Jillette & directed by Teller). We’ll watch it at the first rainy weekend, which looks like it’s going to be this one…

The irony of this approach is of course that we can only ever confidently say it’s a coincidence after we have scientifically eliminated all conceivable mechanisms that could have produced the observed effect. That is, in order eventually to conclude that it is a coincidence, we have to proceed on the assumption that it is not one. Said conclusion would be reached through a process of elimination because there can be no positive evidence in support of it. And since there are such possible mechanisms aplenty, it would be unduly fatalistic to suppose such a multifaceted coincidence in the case of the Moon.


You are biased. You are ignoring the possibility that god did it. ducks

True, that. Maybe the cantankerous old coot is trying to tell us he’s also a loony two-face — not that we needed telling, mind you. :stuck_out_tongue:


Fair enough: I seem to be experiencing a collapse of healthy scientific curiosity. :slight_smile: