London: Rare and spectacular video footage of the far side of the Moon has been captured by a NASA spacecraft, The Telegraph reported Thursday.
One whole face of the Moon can never be seen from Earth because it constantly faces away from our planet. But now one of the twin GRAIL spacecraft launched by NASA last September has returned its first video of the Moon's hidden side.
The video scans the barren, dusty face - the oldest part of the moon - all the way from north to south poles, revealing a landscape scarred by countless collisions with comets and asteroids, the newspaper said.
Among the geographical features it picks up are the 149 km wide Drygalski crater, which features a star-shaped formation in its centre and can be seen to the left of centre near the bottom of the screen as the video reaches the south pole.
The footage was taken as part of a project for middle school students, who will pick out areas such as craters which they want to study in more detail, and is intended to inspire the next generation of space scientists.
Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, said: "The quality of the video is excellent and should energise our students as they prepare to explore the Moon."
First Published: Thursday, February 02, 2012, 21:46