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.

2016 August 5
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Apollo 15 Panorama
Image Credit & Copyright: Apollo 15, USGS, NASA

Explanation: On July 31, 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts Jim Irwin and Dave Scott deployed the first Lunar Roving Vehicle on the Moon. Using it to explore their Hadley-Apennine landing site they spent nearly three days on the Moon while Al Worden orbited above. This digitally stitched panorama shows Scott examining a boulder on the slope of 3.5 kilometer high Mons Hadley Delta to the left of their electric-powered, four-wheel drive vehicle. The sun at his back, Irwin casts the strong shadow to the rover's right. The panoramic view extends farther right to the sunward direction, over Hadley Rille and lunar terrain, revealed in harsh, unfiltered sunlight. In total, the rover traversed 28 kilometers (17 miles) on the lunar surface. The Apollo 15 mission returned about 76 kilograms of moon rocks to planet Earth.

Tomorrow's picture: GMT sunset

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