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.

October 4, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

One Small Step
Credit: Apollo 11 Crew, NASA

Explanation: On July 20th, 1969, a human first set foot on the Moon. Pictured above is the first lunar footprint. The footprint and distinction of the first person to walk on the Moon belong to Neil Armstrong. It has been estimated that one billion people world-wide watched Armstrong's first step - making the live transmission from a camera mounted on the lunar lander one of the highest rated television shows ever. Upon setting foot on the moon, Armstrong said: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." The Apollo missions to the Moon have been described as the result of the greatest technological mobilization the world has known.

Tomorrow's picture: A Sunspot Up Close

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.