The Landing Sites Today

The six landing sites left hardware, tyre tracks and footprints that are still there today. Through a good quality telescope, in theory, we should be able to see it all. But no telescope on Earth ever has. Not even the Hubble Space Telescope has photographed any landing site features. Why is that eh? They weren't there were they?

We still have to remember the Moon is 240,000 miles (400,000km) away. The largest objects left on the moon are the lower stages of the Lunar Module. This is just around 5mt wide, tyre tracks are around 20cm wide, the footprints aren't much wider. Resolution of the telescopes are the key here. You could be in Earth orbit trying to spot the Great Wall of China. It may be 1000 miles long but the width is more important. From 300 miles up, you cannot spot anything that is just a few yards across. The 'fact' that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space is actually a myth. The M25 on the other hand is 4x wider in places and has been seen, so has the Golden Gate Bridge.

Experiment; Get two people to hold up a long piece of thin string. This can be as long as you like, say 20 metres. Each person holds it taught at either end. An observer should walk away say 100 metres. Can the observer see the string? It's long enough but not wide enough.

Now here comes the best bit. A new satellite called the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) has indeed imaged all six Apollo landing sites... Apollo 11 is below. The crater that Armstrong manually flew over is to the right of the LM.

Here is the Apollo 12 site...

And the Apollo 14 site...

We will skip through to the Apollo 17 site. I am sure you get the idea by now...