Photo: SSPL (Getty Images)
The Chinese just put themselves on the map regarding the “space race,” landing a probe on the dark side of the moon this past week. Named “Chang’e 4,” it’s the first time humans have ever successfully put a rover on the opposite side of the moon. The move isn’t just impressive to Pink Floyd fans but to anyone who’s bought into the many conspiracy theories regarding our natural satellite.
As hard as it may be to believe, we still don’t know that much about the far side of the moon because of “tidal locking.” Although the moon rotates on its axis once every 27 days, that’s the same amount of time it takes to orbit the Earth, meaning that we always see the same face of the moon as it rotates around us.
Are there little green men hiding behind our rock in the sky? Mmmmm, probably not.
The far side of the moon has been surveyed by satellites and watched from orbit by the Apollo astronauts – but never before seen from the surface.
These historic images were snapped just hours ago by the Chinese lander and rover Chang'e 4.
Let the science begin! ??? pic.twitter.com/vdOKPDQmaI
— ABC Science (@ABCscience) January 3, 2019
Real or ridiculous: Top 5 Creepiest Conspiracy Theories
Here are 5 things we won’t see on the dark side of the moon. (Sorry, “conspiracy Carl.”)
Listen, we’re not hating on aliens. We’re believers. We just don’t think they have the technology to be anywhere near Earth. And if they did have such technology to travel through spacetime faster than the speed of light, why would they be hiding out on the far side of the moon? Join us for a cocktail in Cabo or check out some Chicago style pizza, right?
There’s a disconcerting number of people who believe both the U.S. and Russia discovered some kind of alien lunar base on the other side of the moon during the height of the Cold War. In reality, there’s a better chance people see a base run by Ace if they truly see “The Sign.” (We understand if the younger millennials don’t get this joke).
3. A tunnel of cities
Some believe images of the moon show the outline of a network of underground cities which bustle underneath the surface. But what people are really seeing are lava tubes that snake underground for hundreds of miles, created by streams of magma that ran dry billions of years ago. Sorry, there isn’t a baby Manhattan just waiting to be discovered, unless you order one at your local speakeasy.
4. A secret moon base
According to Gaia, in 1970, two Russian astronomers came up with a theory that that moon was a hollow satellite put in place by a “highly advanced extraterrestrial race.” These dudes really thought the moon was an “artificial shell” that had been inhabited for millennia. Because of
drugs this theory, there are some who believe that the far side of the moon doesn’t just have a secret base but that the moon may be an alien spaceship.
5. Adolf Hitler
Yeah, this one is wacky. But according to History, after the end ofWorld War II, rumors spread that German astronauts had traveled to the moon to set-up a top-secret facility. Some then speculated that Hitler faked his own death and fled to the moon to live out his life in an underground hideout. There’s even a science fiction novel based on the premise titled Rocket Ship Galileo, published by Robert A. Heinlein in 1947. To us, it sounds more like an Avengers movie plot.
So what will China really find?
Well, scientists believe that countless more asteroids have pummelled the far side of the moon’s lunar surface, which has lead to fewer lava flows and a more intact record of ancient impacts. The probe will test soil and rock and may help narrow down theories as to how the moon formed in the first place. They will also be able to make astronomical observations, monitoring incoming radio waves from deep space, which could lead to a better understanding at studying fingerprints left by the Big Bang.
Worth another look: These Conspiracy Theories Make Too Much Sense to Be Kept Under Wraps
Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.