Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2004 January 2
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

An Apollo 12 Panorama
Credit: Apollo 12 Crew, USGS, NASA

Explanation: The Apollo 12 mission was the second ever to land humans on the Moon. The mission was dedicated to studying the Moon, developing techniques, and developing instruments that could be used in future lunar landings. Astronauts Charles (Pete) Conrad and Alan Bean spent just under two days on the lunar surface in November 1969, while Richard Gordon orbited above in the Command Module. Pictured above in this digitally stitched panorama, Alan Bean works near the Lunar Module. Scrolling to the right will reveal a dark color panorama where flat lunar terrain and a tall video camera are visible. Apollo 12 mission astronauts visited the site of the nearby Surveyor 3 robot spacecraft that had landed on the moon three years earlier.

Tomorrow's picture: Something Wild

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