Sunday, September 11, 2011
This image of the Apollo 17 landing site is the sharpest image of the moon ever taken from space. With the previous best taken by the Hubble telescope, but it could only focus on things 80m in diameter or larger. To take the picture, they adjusted the orbit of a lunar satellite to be withing 22km of the surface. Tracks heading towards and away from the the landing site were made by the lunar rover as the astronauts explored the moon's surface. Not since apollo 17 have we gotten such a clear picture of the surface of the moon. The tracks are still visible today, because there are few elements to disturb the lunar soil or regolith, which will mean these tracks, and even the foot prints of the astronauts will likely still be visible for thousands of years.