NASA reveals unseen moon pictures

NASA has released previously unseen panorama images of various Apollo landing sites, highlighting a landscape once described by Buzz Aldrin as "magnificent desolation".

The images were created to celebrate this week's 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

 

The panoramas above were created by combining numerous images taken at different angles. Picture: NASA
The panoramas above were created by combining numerous images taken at different angles. Picture: NASA

 

The panoramas serve as a bold reminder of an alien world that just 12 humans have ever set foot on.

All of the images were taken by Apollo astronauts, and handed over to Nasa imagery specialist Warren Harold.

 

Panorama view of Apollo 12 lunar surface photos with lunar module pilot Alan L. Bean and the TV taken from just inside the rim of Surveyor Crater on the first moonwalk of the mission. Picture: NASA
Panorama view of Apollo 12 lunar surface photos with lunar module pilot Alan L. Bean and the TV taken from just inside the rim of Surveyor Crater on the first moonwalk of the mission. Picture: NASA

As a comparison, the photo below is an example of what we've seen before. In the photo above, the panorama has been extended by stringing together a number of photos taken at different angles by the Apollo astronauts.

 

Apollo 12 landing. Location: Oceanus Procellarum, Moon. Picture: NASA/Corbis/Getty Images
Apollo 12 landing. Location: Oceanus Procellarum, Moon. Picture: NASA/Corbis/Getty Images

 

Panorama view of Station 8 and (Mons) Mt. Hadley Panorama view of Station 8 and Mt. Hadley taken during the third moonwalk of the Apollo 15 mission. Picture: NASA
Panorama view of Station 8 and (Mons) Mt. Hadley Panorama view of Station 8 and Mt. Hadley taken during the third moonwalk of the Apollo 15 mission. Picture: NASA

 

These images were then "stitched together" to create stunning panoramas that show the barren lunar landscape.

The accuracy of the images was then verified by Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, who remains the only geologist to walk on the Moon.

 

Panorama view of Apollo 16 commander Astronaut John W. Young, working at the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) just prior to deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) during the first moonwalk of the mission on April 21, 1972. Picture: NASA
Panorama view of Apollo 16 commander Astronaut John W. Young, working at the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) just prior to deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) during the first moonwalk of the mission on April 21, 1972. Picture: NASA

 

Panorama view of Apollo 15 lunar surface photos south of Station 2 taken by lunar module pilot James B. Irwin. Astronaut David R. Scott, mission commander, performs a task at the Lunar Roving Vehicle parked on the edge of Hadley Rille (Rima Hadley) during the first moonwalk of the mission. Picture: NASA
Panorama view of Apollo 15 lunar surface photos south of Station 2 taken by lunar module pilot James B. Irwin. Astronaut David R. Scott, mission commander, performs a task at the Lunar Roving Vehicle parked on the edge of Hadley Rille (Rima Hadley) during the first moonwalk of the mission. Picture: NASA

 

Describing one image, Schmitt said: "The Valley of Taurus-Littrow on the Moon presents a view that is one of the more spectacular natural scenes in the Solar System.

"The massif walls of the valley are brilliantly illuminated by the Sun, rise higher than those of the Grand Canyon, and soar to heights over 4800 feet on the north and 7000 feet on the south.

 

 

"At the same time, the summits are set against a blacker than black sky - a contrast beyond the experience of visitors from Earth.

"And, over the South Massif wall of the valley, one can always see home: the cloud-swirled blue Earth, only 250,000 miles away."

 

 

The new images were created to honour the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

US astronauts blasted off from Earth towards the Moon on July 16, 1965.

And on July 20, 1969 space heroes Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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