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.
2023 July 29
Explanation: Bright sunlight glints as long dark shadows mark this image of the surface of the Moon. It was taken fifty-four years ago, July 20, 1969, by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the lunar surface. Pictured is the mission's lunar module, the Eagle, and spacesuited lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Aldrin is unfurling a long sheet of foil also known as the Solar Wind Composition Experiment. Exposed facing the Sun, the foil trapped particles streaming outward in the solar wind, catching a sample of material from the Sun itself. Along with moon rocks and lunar soil samples, the solar wind collector was returned for analysis in earthbound laboratories.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.