Many of us see a man in the moon--a human face smiling down at us from the lunar surface. The "face," of course, is just an illusion, shaped by the dark splotches of lunar maria (smooth plains formed from the lava of ancient volcanic eruptions). But why did the moon settle into an orbit with the man rather than the moon's crater-covered far side facing Earth?
Previously, some scientists have thought the fact that we see the man is just the result of a coincidence. Now researchers have found that the reason the man faces us may be a result of the rate at which the moon slowed down before becoming locked into its current orientation.