Nearly 50 Years of Incredible Extraterrestrial Moon Photography
On July 31st, 1964, Ranger 7 sent back the first of over 4,300 detailed images of the moon. At the time, the world hadn’t seen anything like it: they were clearer and more detailed than any image that could be made from earth. Check out a selection of photos taken over the course of the last 48 years after the jump.
Taken from Ranger 7 as it plummeted towards impact. Transmission of 4,308 photographs of excellent quality occurred over the final 17 minutes of flight. The final image taken before impact has a resolution of 0.5 meters. (read: incredible, detailed, and large)
From Surveyor one, which was the first Surveyor craft to make a successful soft landing. Surveyor one sent roughly 11,000 images back to earth.
Surveyor seven took this image of the Tycho crater. The hills in the background are roughly eight miles away, which should give a sense of the enormous scale in this photograph.
Via Mariner 10
The north pole of the moon, from Galileo, while on its way to photograph Jupiter
Triptych of three narrow-angle images via Cassini. From left to right, the images are under a green, blue, and ultraviolet filter.
This photo, enlarged by four times, shows the Apollo 14 lunar module (LM Antares) and the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP). If you look closely, you’ll be able to make out the footprints that the astronauts left behind, as well as the American flag, which is still standing.
2011 photo from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
March 15, 2012. The crater in the lower middle of this photograph, Poinsot, is about 43 miles wide.