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If we return to the moon, is there a telescope on earth today strong enough to watch astronauts walking around on the surface?

Emily Rodriguez Emily Rodriguez Dec 25, 2018 · 2 mins read
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If we were to return to the moon, one question that often arises is whether there is a telescope on Earth today that is strong enough to watch astronauts walking around on the surface. The short answer is no, there is no telescope strong enough to observe such small details on the moon’s surface. However, this is not due to any technical limitations of the telescopes themselves, but rather due to the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The moon is located approximately 238,855 miles away from Earth, which means that even the most powerful telescopes on our planet are not able to observe individual people or objects on the moon’s surface. While some telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, can capture images of the moon’s surface in incredible detail, they are not able to zoom in close enough to observe features as small as an individual astronaut.

In fact, even if we were to send a manned mission to the moon once again, it is unlikely that any telescope currently in existence would be able to observe the astronauts walking around on its surface. The smallest features that telescopes on Earth can observe from the moon are large craters or mountains, which are several kilometers in size.

The distance between the Earth and the moon also means that observing small details on the moon’s surface is not simply a matter of using a more powerful telescope. The quality of images captured by telescopes is affected by atmospheric conditions, which can distort and blur the image. This effect is exacerbated by the long distance between the Earth and the moon, as the image has to pass through a larger amount of Earth’s atmosphere before it reaches the telescope. This can make it difficult to distinguish small details on the moon’s surface even with the most powerful telescopes.

To summarize, while current telescopes on Earth are capable of capturing incredibly detailed images of the moon’s surface, they are not able to observe individual astronauts walking around. The distance between the Earth and the moon, as well as atmospheric distortion, make it impossible to zoom in close enough to see such small details. However, as technology advances and new telescopes are developed, our ability to observe the moon and other celestial bodies will continue to improve.

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Emily Rodriguez
Written by Emily Rodriguez
Making waves wherever I go