Does the Moon Rotate?

Observers on Earth might notice that the moon essentially keeps the same side facing our planet as it passes through its orbit. This may lead to the question, does the moon rotate? The answer is yes, though it may seem contrary to what our eyes observe.

Near and far sides of the moon

The moon orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the moon to rotate once on its axis. As a result, the moon does not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous rotation.

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