The far side of the Moon represents one of great fascination, and not solely among fans of British prog-rock bands. hanks to the Luna 3 space exploration programme of 1959, unseen views of the far side of the Moon were recorded for the very first time, with mountainous terrain and low valleys captured in 29 breathtaking images taken over a 40-minute period.
The images, shot on 35mm film on October 7, 1959, revealed that the surface of the far side of the Moon differed significantly from that facing the Earth. In contrast to the many areas of ‘lunar malaria’ (dark plains formed by ancient volcanic eruptions) so distinctive of the Moon’s Earth-facing appearance, experts could instead record only two dark, low-lying areas. These would be afforded the monikers the Sea of Moscow and the Sea of Desire.