Earth's Moon - Luna 3

Close-up of the far side of the Moon from Luna 3

Earth's Moon
The Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first views ever of the far side of the Moon. 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. The last image was taken 40 minutes later from 66,700 km. A total of 29 photographs were taken, covering 70% of the far side. The photographs were very noisy and of low resolution, but many features could be recognized. This close up view taken with the narrow angle camera shows the far side has fewer maria (the dark areas) than the near side. This image is centered at 17 N, 110 E, the dark region below and left of center is Mare Smythii, the bright crater above and left of center is Giordano Bruno. The Moon is 3475 km in diameter and north is up. (Luna 3-6)
Larger image:

High resolution tiff file (12.3 Mb)


Location & Time Information
Date/Time (UT): 1959-10-07
Distance/Range (km): N/A
Central Latitude/Longitude (deg): N/A
Orbit(s): Flyby

Imaging Information
Area or Feature Type: crater, maria
Instrument: Yenisey-2 Phototelevision System
Instrument Resolution (pixels): 1000 x 1000
Instrument Field of View (deg): N/A
Filter: N/A
Illumination Incidence Angle (deg): N/A
Phase Angle (deg): N/A
Instrument Look Direction: N/A
Surface Emission Angle (deg): N/A

Ordering Information
CD-ROM Volume: N/A
NASA Image ID number: Luna3_6
Other Image ID number:
NSSDC Data Set ID (Photo): 59-008A-01A
NSSDC Data Set ID (CD): N/A
Other ID: N/A

Updated 24 March 2003, DRW.