Historical photographs

Apollo 11 and the Sun. Learn from experience

Apollo 11 and the Sun. Learn from experience


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Bright flashes of sunlight and long dark shadows dramatize this image of the lunar surface taken by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the Moon.

The photograph shows the lunar module of the mission, the Eagle ("Eagle"), and, with his space suit, the lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin is deploying a large sheet of aluminum foil also known as the Wind Collector Solar.

Exposed to the Sun, aluminum foil caught atoms that flow with the solar wind, ultimately capturing a sample of the Sun's material itself. Along with rocks and lunar soil samples, the solar wind collector was brought back for analysis in the ground labs.

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