Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 21, 1996

The Eagle Soars
Credit: Apollo 11, NASA

Explanation: On July 21, 1969 Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. lifted off the lunar surface in the ascent stage of their lunar module dubbed "The Eagle" -- after becoming the first to walk on the moon. Seen here the Eagle soars towards a rendezvous with the orbiting Command Module piloted by Michael Collins. The smooth, dark mare area on the surface below is Mare Smithii located just below the equator on the extreme eastern edge of the lunar nearside. The Earth is visible hanging above the moon's western horizon.

Tomorrow's picture: Utopia on Mars

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.