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.

2009 July 20
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.

Apollo 11: Onto a New World
Credit: Apollo 11, NASA

Explanation: A human first set foot on another world on July 20, 1969. This world was Earth's own Moon. In honor of today's 40th anniversary, NASA has released a digitally restored video of this milestone in human history. Pictured above is Neil Armstrong preparing to take the historic first step. On the way down the Lunar Module ladder, Armstrong released equipment which included the television camera that recorded this fuzzy image. Pictures and voice transmissions were broadcast live to a world wide audience estimated at one fifth of the world's population. The Apollo Moon landings have since been described as the greatest technological achievement the world has known.

Tomorrow's picture: horsehead shadow

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