Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The dark side of the moon [1959] and Luna 3

Luna 3


The right three-quarters of the disk are the far side. The dark spot at upper right is Mare Moscoviense, the dark area at lower left is Mare Smythii. The small dark circle at lower right with the white dot in the center is the crater Tsiolkovskiy and its central peak. The Moon is 3475 km in diameter and north is up in this image.

The Soviets' Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first views ever of the far side of the Moon in 1959. The first image was taken at 03:30 UT on 7 October at a distance of 63,500 km after Luna 3 had passed the Moon and looked back at the sunlit far side....

A total of 29 photographs were taken, covering 70% of the far side. The last image was taken 40 minutes later from 66,700 km. The photographs were very noisy and of low resolution, but many features could be recognized.

Luna 3 [Wikipedia]

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