Our moon is tidally locked to the Earth, which means we never get to see its opposite side. But there's a prevailing notion that the far side is perpetually shrouded in darkness. This is absolutely not true, as this visualization from NASA beautifully illustrates.

Using data acquired by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio put together this simulation to demonstrate the complete cycle of phases that are experienced on the moon's far side.

The moon's opposite side is quite different from what we're accustomed to. It's devoid of the dark spots, called maria, and the surface is absolutely riddled with craters. The far side is also home to one of the largest and oldest features in the solar system — the South Pole-Aitken basin.

[ NASA Scientific Visualization Studio ]