Pictures of the Moon

by Fraser Cain on April 29, 2012

The Moon is one of the most familiar and beautiful objects in the night sky (and daytime too!). Let’s take a look at some beautiful images of the Moon. Of course, since Universe Today is a space and astronomy website, all of these pictures of the Moon were taken by spacecraft, or people on board spacecraft.

Earthrise. Image credit: NASA

Earthrise. Image credit: NASA


Here’s one of the most important pics of the Moon ever captured. That’s because you can see the whole of the Earth as well. This picture of the Moon is called Earthrise, and it was taken by NASA’s astronauts on board Apollo 8 just after it completed its lunar insertion orbit.

The Moon at its nearest and furthest points of its orbit. Image credit: NASA

The Moon at its nearest and furthest points of its orbit. Image credit: NASA


The Moon follows an elliptical orbit as it travels around the Earth. At some points in its orbit, the Moon is closer to the Earth than others. This picture of the Moon from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft shows the difference in sizes that the Moon can get.

The Earth and Moon, seen from the shuttle Discovery. Image credit: NASA

The Earth and Moon, seen from the shuttle Discovery. Image credit: NASA


This is a picture of the Moon, but it’s also a picture of the Earth, seen from space as well as the space shuttle Discovery. This image of the Moon was captured during a mission in 1998.

Far Side of the Moon. Image credit: NASA
Here’s a side of the Moon that very few people have ever seen with their own eyes. This photo of the Moon shows its far side. The image was taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft as it was speeding out on its journey to Jupiter.

Formation of the Moon

Formation of the Moon


And finally, this isn’t a photograph, but it’s an artist’s illustration of what might have happened during the formation of the Moon. In this image of the Moon, a Mars-sized object is crashing into the Earth. After this, the spray of debris from the collision orbited the Earth and eventually collected together to form the Moon.

Moon Landing Photos

Moon Landing Pictures

Apollo moon landing sites

For all you conspiracy buffs out there, here’s evidence that the Moon landings really happened. Here are some pictures of the lunar surface taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the location of all the lunar landings. The pictures are so high resolution, you can see the shadows of the lander and even the astronaut footprints.

A Scientist on the Moon

A Scientist on the Moon

This is a portrait of astronaut and scientist Harrison H. Schmitt standing beside the US flag on the Moon. While most astronauts were test pilots, Schmitt was an actual geologist. It was incredibly useful to have a scientist studying the lunar rocks and soil, searching for evidence.

Alan Bean with Lunar Soil

Alan Bean with Lunar Soil

This is astronaut Alan Bean standing on the surface of the Moon. He’s holding a special container that has lunar soil in it. This picture was taken in the vicinity of Sharp Crater.

Footprints on the Moon

Footprints on the Moon

Here’s a classic picture of Buzz Aldrin’s footprint on the Moon; he was the second person to set foot on the Moon. Because there’s no weather on the Moon, this footprint should remain here for millions of years.

Aldrin joined Armstrong on the surface

Aldrin joined Armstrong on the surface

This is a photo of Buzz Aldrin climbing down outside the Apollo 11 capsule, becoming the second person to set foot on the surface of the Moon. This picture was taken by Neil Armstrong, the first person on the Moon.

Full Moon Pictures

Full Moon Photographed by Expedition 10

Full Moon Photographed by Expedition 10

This is a stunning photo of full moon taken by the astronauts onboard the International Space Station during the Expedition 10 mission. The moon is the only natural satellite of the planet Earth.

Moon Aglow

Moon Aglow

This breathtaking photo moon and the earth’s atmosphere was taken from the International Space Station by an Expedition 10 crew member in October 2004. Expedition 10 crew members, Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov relieved the two Expedition 9 crew members, Mike Fincke and Gennady Padalka.

Full Moon Against Earth's Limb

Full Moon Against Earth's Limb

Here’s another amazing picture of the moon in full view. This image was taken by the Expedition 12 crew members onboard the International Space Station on February 12, 2006.

Full Moon with Earth's Horizon and Airglow Visible at Left

Full Moon with Earth's Horizon and Airglow Visible at Left

This is an Expedition 14 picture of the full moon taken on December 4, 2006. The moon is the brightest object visible in the earth’s sky after the sun.

Earth's Moon

Earth's Moon

Here’s a nice photo of the earth’s moon generated from the 18 images captured by the Galileo spacecraft on December 7, 1992 on its way to Jupiter. The Moon is the only natural satellite of the earth. The moon’s surface, as seen on the image is composed of many impact craters.

New Moon Pictures

Almost New Moon with Venus. Image credit: Voobie

Almost New Moon with Venus. Image credit: Voobie

This is an image of the Moon when it was almost a new moon. The bright star in the picture isn’t a star at all but the planet Venus. This photo was taken by Voobie.

Double Conjunction
This is an image of a double conjunction, where the Moon was close in the sky to two planets, Jupiter and Venus.

New Moon with airplane. Image credit: Stefan Seip

New Moon with airplane. Image credit: Stefan Seip

Amateur astronomer Stefan Seip caught this amazing photograph of a passenger airplane passing in front of an almost perfect New Moon.


New moon with Venus. Image credit: James W. Young

New moon with Venus. Image credit: James W. Young

Another great image of a new moon. This time the Moon is only 37 hours old. This picture was taken by James W. Young from the Table Mountain Observatory.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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