Could hubble see footprints on the moon?

17 May 2009

Question

Could the Hubble space telescope see the footprints made by the Apollo astronauts on the moon’s surface?

Answer

Dave - Well, Hubble is an incredible telescope but looking up it's resolution - I reckon it has a resolution of 0.05 arcseconds, that means it can distinguish two objects which are 0.000013 degrees apart, any closer together than that and they sort of merge into one object. Now - Chris - In practical terms what does that mean? Dave - That means if something - the distance of the moon away from us, Hubble is essentially near the earth its very level, but -Chris - So about a quarter of a million miles to the moon?Dave - About 384,000 kilometres-that means you can see something 9 to 10 metres across on the moon, so probably not.Chris - That would be a very big footprint - Bigfoot literally. Okay, thank you Dave!

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