National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Multimedia
Facebook Twitter YouTube Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr iTunes
Follow Us
WIde-angle View of the Far Side of the Moon from Luna 3
WIde-angle View of the Far Side of the Moon from Luna 3 (click to enlarge)
 
 

WIde-angle View of the Far Side of the Moon from Luna 3
Date: 7 Oct 1959

The Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first views ever of the far side of the moon. The first image was taken at 03:30 UT on 7 October 1959 at a distance of 63,500 km (about 39,457 miles) after Luna 3 had passed the moon and looked back at the sunlit far side. The last image was taken 40 minutes later from 66,700 km (about 41,445 miles). A total of 29 photographs were taken, covering 70% of the far side. The photographs were very noisy and of low resolution, but many features could be recognized.

This wide-angle view shows the far side comprising most of the image, with the near side making up about one-quarter of the disk at left. The dark patch in the upper right is Mare Moscoviense and the dark areas below and left of center are Mare Marginus and Mare Smythii. These are on the border between the near and far sides. The small dark circle in the lower right is the crater Tsiolkovskiy. The image is centered at 15 N, 120 E. The moon is 3,475 km (about 2,159) in diameter and north is at 11:30.

A full gallery of Luna 3 photographs can be found at: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/imgcat/html/mission_page/EM_Luna_3_page1.html

Credit: NSSDC Photo Gallery



Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 22 Apr 2013