Apollo landing sites: 40 years later!

I'll keep this simple, as you can get longer writeups at Universe Today, Bad Astronomy, and the NASA site, but a NASA spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon just released images of five of the six Apollo landing sites.

Why am I so excited about this? Because you can see the Earth-junk we left there! There's the lunar module from Apollo 11:

the one from Apollo 14 (Apollo 12 was out of the way, and Apollo 13 -- of course -- never made it onto the Moon):

and from Apollo 15:

Apollo 16:

and Apollo 17:

Go back to Apollo 14. There's something spectacular that you can see on the Moon in that image. See that other bright white dot in that image? See the darker lines that run back and forth? Those are astronaut footprints and science instruments that we put there!

In three days, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing, and I can't think of a better set of images to remind us of arguably our greatest achievement as a species.

More like this

"We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown." -Arthur Eddington Since the dawn of mankind, we've left innumerable footsteps across the lands, as we've traveled far and wide across the globe. Image credit: Greg Prohl. But (with very rare exceptions) these footsteps don't last.…
"I could have gone on flying through space forever." -Yuri Gagarin It was April 12th, 1961, or fifty years ago today, that Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to leave Earth -- the ground, the atmosphere, the stratosphere -- and to soar into outer space. Image credit: GETTY images. What was…
Today: July 20th, 2009. The 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The very first time mankind walked on the Moon. From liftoff, to walking down the lunar landing module for the first time, to some of the most iconic images in all of human history: It brings up a sense of wonder…
"Geologists have a saying: rocks remember." -Neil Armstrong Looming up above us, hundreds of thousands of miles away, is the largest moon in the inner solar system: our Moon. Image credit: © 2004 by Ulli and Christian 'Pete' Lotzmann. One of the greatest achievements in the history of our planet…

Wonderful pictures.

By NewEnglandBob (not verified) on 17 Jul 2009 #permalink

Thank you! It's fun comparing these to the ground truth from the mission photographs -- the image above shows the lander next to a crater, and here's an Apollo 16 panorama:

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 17 Jul 2009 #permalink

Photo shopped!!! Its all a conspiracy. Come on...we went to the moon before we could microwave a burrito? Who are you protecting?!?! I getting back to my box behind the 7-11 before the men in black show up....I'M ON TO YOU!!!

I don't need to be convinced. My argument with any denialist is: "how many people were pointing their telescopes, antenas and whatever they have toward the moon during the voyage and moon landing to confirm everything? Thousands, Millions? All the communist chinese and soviets were ready to discredit everything if they smellest the faintest foul play. Any decent astronomy club or university was looking. Do you think the CIA bribed all those people to keep their mouths shut ? "
About the pictures, I am sorry, but I wouldn't use them to prove my point. I would like to have better resolution as to be able to see the details without arrows pointing to things that look more like rocks that anything else.

so these are actual close up shots from earth? any other photos online?