The Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, which means that we always see the same side of the Moon. People have come to call the side of the moon that we do not see the “dark side” of the Moon, as they think that this side never sees the sun and that the Moon’s phases are the result of the Earth’s shadow on the Moon. However, this is a common misconception. The phases of the Moon are not caused by the Earth blocking part of the Sun’s light. They are actually a result of the Moon’s position in its orbit around the Earth. Sunlight hits the Earth and Moon from the same direction, and they are both always half lit. The orbiting bodies’ relative positions to each other cause us to see different amounts of this light, creating the phases. Depending on its location in its orbit around the Earth, the Moon appears to be full, new, waxing, or waning. So, the “dark side” of the Moon is not really dark all of the time. In fact, it is only fully dark during what we call a full moon. The picture above shows the Moon’s “dark side” almost fully lit as it orbits around the Earth. So, the “dark side” of the Moon is not an accurate name. Something like the “back side” or the “other side” may be better when referring to the side of the Moon that we do not see.