Today is National Moon Day, commemorating the day in 1969 that Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. Eleven other astronauts have gone on to follow in his bootsteps, including Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin, who took these historic photos during the Apollo 15 moon mission in 1971. We’ve stitched together their images to create this composite panorama of the landing site, where they spent three days conducting research. (If only they had selfie sticks back then.) Look for the ‘play’ button on our homepage to hear actual transmissions between the crew and the Mission Control Center in Houston.
Mission start: Jul 16, 1969
Mission end: Jul 24, 1969
Astronauts: Neil Armstrong · Buzz Aldrin · Michael Collins
Space program: Apollo program
Buzz Aldrin salutes the U.S flag on the Moon (mission time: 110:10:33). His fingertips are visible on the far side of his faceplate. Note the well-defined footprints in the foreground. Buzz is facing up-Sun. There is a reflection of the Sun in his visor. At the bottom of Buzz’s faceplate, note the white ‘rim’ which is slightly separated from his neckring. This ‘rim’ is the bottom of his gold visor, which he has pulled down. We can see the LEC straps hanging down inside of the ladder strut. In the foreground, we can see the foot-grabbing loops in the TV cable. The double crater under Neil’s LM window is just beyond the LM shadow.
Also on this day,
1944 | German conspirators target Hitler in ’20 July Plot’ and fail
Adolf Hitler is only slightly injured with a concussion and mild burns when a briefcase bomb detonates at the ‘Wolf’s Lair,’ his Eastern Front command post in Prussia. Conspirators in the assassination plot, most of them high-level German Army officers, will be captured and executed.1976 | Mars receives its first successful manmade visitor, Viking 1
Exactly seven years to the day that humans first walked on the moon, NASA’s Viking 1 becomes the first manmade object to land on another planet and complete its mission. Just hours after touchdown, the lander got to work, capturing the first clear image of the Martian surface.1989 | Aung San Suu Kyi, a force for Burmese democracy becomes a political prisoner
Having helped form the National League for Democracy the previous year, Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi is put under house arrest by her country’s ruling military junta, and will remain confined to her home on-and-off for 21 years. She will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
Manufacturer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Hope you enjoyed the Supermoon since we won’t see it again until December 6, 2052. I promise to buy anyone who shows up a beer but full disclosure, I might just be dead by then 🙂 No being morbid, just saying that this is probably the last one in my lifetime.
“Supermoon” is a term that has really caught on in the past few years, but astronomers have been calling it an “perigee full moon” for much longer, or “perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system” if you really want to get technical.
A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The term “supermoon” is not astronomical, but originated in modern astrology.
The term “supermoon” was first used by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, more than three decades ago, according to EarthSky.
According to NASA, at perigee the moon is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than at apogee, which is is farthest point in its orbit: “That distance equates to more than once around the circumference of Earth. Its looming proximity makes the moon appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter in the sky than an apogee full moon.”