Jump to content

Walking on the Moon

Can we see evidence of us on the moon?


Recommended Posts

Is there anything on the moon caused by us which we can see from Earth? I've been loking at the Virtual Moon Altlas (great freebie!) and I see there are a number of sites marked of landings or crashes of our hardware. I was wondering if any of these are visible through a telescope. If so, how much magnification would you need?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think there are any telescopes capable of the resolution required to see something that small on the Moon's surface from Earth.

If a telescope has a resolving power of 0.5 arcseconds then that translates to the smallest object that can be theorectically seen on the Moon's surface from Earth is 1.1 miles across. Even this theoretical maximum resolution would be limited by the atmospheric seeing conditions.


Hubble's angular resolution is about 0.043 arcseconds which would translate to an object on the Moon about a 1/10th of a mile across (rough calculation) which is still quite a lot bigger than any man-made object on the Moon. Hubble isn't limited by atmospheric seeing either.

Also Hubble's orbit never brings it above the UK horizons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They were laser ranging retroreflector experiments left on the lunar surface by Apollo 11, Apollo 14 and Apollo 15. I'm sure Google will show some hits if you want to read up on them.

And here's a page which has images of the shadows cast by the Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 lunar landers (taken from the orbiting CSMs).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.