Close-up view of Apollo 12 landing site from LRO. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
Wow! Just look at the detail visible in this image of the Apollo 12 landing site taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from its lower mapping orbit of 50 km above the surface. Compared to earlier images taken in September when LRO was in a higher orbit, the Lunar Module descent stage really stands out, as well as the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP). Also visible are the trails left by spacewalking astronauts. From this and other LROC landing site images, it is clear that astronaut activity lowers the albedo, or reflectivity of the surface. Areas of heaviest activity have the lowest albedo, especially around the LM. NASA says this effect is most likely due to compaction of a very loose surface powder by the astronauts just walking around.
Here is a slightly more zoomed out version that includes the Surveyor 3 spacecraft. The Sun is very high in the sky (incidence angle 4°) for these images and shadows are minimized.
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