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48 Years of Moon Photos

Over the last 48 years we’ve gone from grainy photos to razor sharp snaps of the lunar surface. Check out this slideshow to see the increase in quality over the years.

Over at Mashable they’ve rounded up 13 photos that range from early 1960s “Yup, that’s the moon alright” quality to 2010-era “Hey, you can see the gear we left behind” sharpness.

48 Years of Inspiring Moon Photography [Mashable]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/3/12

Comments (4)

  1. Phil

    While the early 1960s Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter images were fairly low resolution (analog signals radioed back to Earth) I disagree with the claim that the resolution has improved over time.

    The Apollo landing missions had high quality Hasselblad cameras. While the film speed wasn’t as high as current cameras there was plenty of light available during the daytime on the moon. The original images from Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 are absolutely amazing, especially Apollo 16.

    Certainly Apollo 11 is the most famous and distributed because of the mission’s fame, but some of the best images were taken on the later missions. Medium resolution digital scans don’t do the images justice. There are decent resolution scans available if you go to the effort to find them.

    One of the most thrilling events in my life was sitting in the living room of the person who taught photography to the astronauts and viewing first generation copies of the film reels on a light table.

  2. r

    One of the most thrilling events in my life was with my date on prom night in 1985

  3. Sandeep

    @r lol
    @phil, what did the guy say to you?

  4. Keith

    Where it concerns all the crators and other pockmarks, I feel that the Moon had every one of them coming. I mean, what’s a smooth round ball of rock good for anyway? Nothing! If you’re just going to sit around and look bland and unremarkable, you’re going to get your ass kicked by some cosmic projectile or other.

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