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.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
This is an image of a double conjunction, where the Moon was close in the sky to two planets, Jupiter and Venus.
Amateur astronomer Stefan Seip caught this amazing photograph of a passenger airplane passing in front of an almost perfect New Moon.
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.