Apollo 11 anniversary: 9 Moon images that illuminate our place in the universe

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July 20 marks 52 years since NASA’s Apollo program landed the first humans on the Moon.

Since then, we’ve seen countless images of our closest celestial body, taken from Earth and space.

ImagePatch/Moment/Getty Images

It’s worth noting how much things have changed. Not for the Moon itself, but rather our vision of it — and how that shapes our perception of our place in the universe.

Here are 9 views that show the moon in all its striking beauty:
Gary Chalker/Moment/Getty Images

9. This is one of the few shots taken of astronaut Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, as he walks on the lunar surface.

8. How’s this for perspective?

Astronauts snapped this image during the Apollo 11 mission, which captures the Moon’s surface and Earth in the distance.


7. In 2015, the Deep Space Climate Observatory captured this image of the “dark side” of the Moon as it passed between Earth and the spacecraft.


6. The full Moon rises over Earth, as seen from the International Space Station in 2018.

5. This striking image of the lunar surface was compiled from images taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in 2017.

4. Also in 2017, the Moon passed between the Sun and Earth in a total solar eclipse.

This NASA image of the rare event was captured from Earth. It could be seen from the ground across certain spots in the U.S.

NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

3. The bumpy, quiet surface of the Moon was captured in 2009 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

2. The Moon is home to many craters, like this one, which was photographed in 2018.

1. This is what Earth and the Moon look like from Mercury. It’s no pale blue dot, but the sister specks still look pretty dang small.

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.

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