Crescent Moon European Southern Observatory
Astronaut saluting the flag

Exploring the Moon 

A history of lunar discovery from the first

space probes to recent times 

Map of lunar landings

This map shows touchdown or impact points of the Soviet Luna 2, Luna 9, Luna 13, Luna 16, Luna 17, Luna 20, Luna 21, and Luna 24 probes; US Surveyor 1, Surveyor 3, Surveyor 5, Surveyor 6, and Surveyor 7; and the Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 missions. Click on the map for a larger version. 

Moon landing map



3,475 km = 2,159 miles (0.27 times Earth) 

Distance from Earth 

384,400 km = 238,900 miles 

Time to orbit Earth 

27.3 days 

Time to spin on axis 

27.3 days 


0.0123 times that of Earth (81 times less) 

Average density 

3.3 times water 

Surface gravity 

One-sixth that of Earth 

Map of lunar landings

Background image:

The waning crescent Moon. 

(European Southern Observatory

Text © Ian Ridpath

These pages support Ian’s talk on Exploring the Moon