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.

2002 January 28
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

An Apollo 17 Panorama
Credit: Apollo 17 Crew, NASA

Explanation: What would it be like to stand on the surface of another world, to look all around you, and to try to figure out how this world got there? To get an idea, scroll right. In 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission, astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan found out first hand. In this case, the world was Earth's own Moon. In one of the more famous panoramas taken on the Moon, the magnificent desolation of the barren Moon is apparent. Visible are rocks, hills, craters, the lunar rover, and astronaut Schmitt preparing to take a soil sample. A few days after this image was taken, humanity left the Moon and has yet to return. An interactive version of the above image can be found here.

Tomorrow's picture: Red South

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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.