Could the Hubble Telescope see footprints on the moon?

17 May 2009



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


Dave Ansell took a look at this question...

Dave - Well, Hubble is an incredible telescope but, looking up its 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 merge into one object.

Chris - In practical terms, what does that mean?

Dave - That means if something - the distance of the moon away from us... 

Chris - So about a quarter of a million miles to the moon?

Dave - Yes, 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!


Add a comment