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[sci.astro] General (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (2/9)
Section - B.20 Is it possible to see the Moon landing sites?

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It is possible to locate and observe the Apollo landing "sites," but
it is *not* possible with current equipment to see the hardware left
there, since their sizes are far too small to be resolved
successfully.  For example, a common backyard 6 inch aperture
telescope can only resolve craters on the moon which are about 1.5
miles or so across.  Even telescopes with a resolution comparable to
that of the Hubble Space Telescope can only resolve details about 100
meters across (the size of a football or soccer field).  Lasers fired
from Earth are bounced off special retro-reflectors left at these
sites by the astronauts, and the faint return pulse is then detected
by Earth-based telescopes equipped with special instruments to measure
the Earth-moon distance, but otherwise, we can't see any man-made
equipment left at the landing sites.  If you wish to see the sites
through a telescope for yourself, here are the approximate locations
of the Apollo landing sites (see the Project Apollo Web site,
<URL:http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo.html>, for more
exact locations and descriptions or
<URL:http://www.boulder.swri.edu/%7Edurda/Apollo/landing_sites.html> for
set of images of the landing sites at increasingly higher resolution):

APOLLO 11:  0.67 deg. N, 23.49 deg. E, near southwest edge of Mare
Tranquillatis a little northwest of the 6-mile wide crater Moltke.

APOLLO 12: 3.20 deg. S, 23.38 deg. W, in Oceanus Procellarum southeast
of the crater Lansberg (also the landing site of Surveyor 3).

APOLLO 14: 3.67 deg. S, 17.47 deg. W., in Fra Mauro highlands just north
of northwestern rim of large shallow Fra Mauro crater.

APOLLO 15: 26.10 deg.N., 3.65 deg. E., Next to Hadley Rille and
southwest of Mt. Hadley in the lunar Apennine Mountains.

APOLLO 16: 8.99 deg. S., 15.52 deg. E., higlands north of the ruined
crater Descartes and southeast of the double crater Dolland B/C.

APOLLO 17: 20.16 deg. N., 30.77 deg. E., in the southwestern Taurus
Mountains roughly between the craters Littrow and Vitruvius.

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Top Document: [sci.astro] General (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (2/9)
Previous Document: B.19 What was the Star of Bethlehem?
Next Document: Copyright

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