Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

September 21, 1995
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One Small Step
Credit: NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Neil Armstrong

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 the highest rated television show 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: Standing on the Moon

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Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is created and edited in 1995 by Robert Nemiroff (GMU) and Jerry Bonnell (USRA). Specific rights may apply. Correspondence about APOD should be addressed to or

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