Astronomy Picture of the Day
APOD: 1998 May 3 - Standing on the Moon
Explanation: Humans once walked on the Moon. Pictured above is the second person to stand on the lunar surface: Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. During this Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon) and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon while Michael Collins circled in the Command Module above. The lunar team erected a plaque on the surface that reads: HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY 1969 A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND. The Apollo missions demonstrated that it is possible to land humans on the Moon and return them safely.
APOD: 2005 June 4 - First US Spacewalk
Explanation: In 1965, forty years ago on June 3rd, astronaut Edward White made the first U.S. spacewalk. Tethered to his Gemini IV capsule, White is pictured above holding a compressed gas "zip gun" for maneuvers in his right hand. His spacewalk began over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and ended 23 minutes later above the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, the term spacewalk is a bit deceiving as White was falling freely in low earth orbit alongside his capsule manned by fellow astronaut James McDivitt. In free-fall, White was able to control his motions by firing bursts from his gun until its supply of compressed gas ran out. He ultimately returned, exhausted, to the two-man Gemini capsule.
APOD: 2006 January 21 - Apollo 12: Self-Portrait
Explanation: In November of 1969, Apollo 12 astronaut-photographer Charles "Pete" Conrad recorded this masterpiece while documenting colleague Alan Bean's lunar soil collection activities on the Oceanus Procellarum. The image is dramatic and stark. The harsh environment of the Moon's Ocean of Storms is echoed in Bean's helmet, a perfectly composed reflection of Conrad and the lunar horizon. Is it art? Works of photojournalists originally intent on recording the human condition on planet Earth, such as Lewis W. Hine's images from New York City in the early 20th century, or Margaret Bourke-White's magazine photography are widely regarded as art. Similarly many documentary astronomy and space images can be appreciated for their artistic and esthetic appeal.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.