Clearest Images Yet of How Astronauts Marked Up the Moon

NASA has captured foot paths and scientific equipment

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Two weeks ago, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, hovering only 13 to 15 miles above the moon's surface, snapped what NASA is calling the "sharpest images ever taken from space" of the paths left by Apollo astronauts when they walked on the moon from 1969 through 1972. Now NASA has released those photos, and they're worth a look (if you go to NASA's site you can compare the pictures with less crisp LRO images from 2009). This image shows the Apollo 17 landing site, including the dual tracks left by the lunar rover and the last foot trails made on the moon by humans:

This image shows foot paths left by Apollo 14 astronauts (NASA reminds us that Alan Shepard famously hit two golf balls after his second moon walk):

The image below shows the Apollo 12 landing site, including a bright L-shape that denotes the locations of cables running from the central Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) station, designed to monitor the moon's environment and interior, to two ALSEP instruments. "Although the cables are much too small for direct viewing, they show up because they reflect light very well," NASA explains.

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