Did the Apollo astronauts take any photos of the Sun from the Moon?

Outside the Earth’s atmosphere, was it safe for the Apollo astronauts to image the Sun?

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The Apollo 12 crew destroyed a camera after accidentally pointing it towards the Sun

The Apollo 12 crew destroyed a camera after accidentally pointing it towards the Sun. Image Credit: NASA

Asked by Daniel Heinzmann

While the Apollo astronauts took many photos of the Earth and lunar surface, they took no images of the Sun. Without the Earth’s atmosphere protecting their cameras from harmful solar radiation, our star is able to destroy any imaging equipment.

This is very much what happened to Lunar Module pilot Alan Bean of Apollo 12. Bean and mission commander Charles Conrad carried the first colour television camera to the lunar surface but within minutes the transmission was lost after Bean accidentally pointed the camera at the Sun. The camera had been completely destroyed due to the intense brightness and radiation thrown onto the Moon’s surface.

After leaving lunar orbit though, the crew of Apollo 12 did manage to catch a solar eclipse when the Earth passed in front of the Sun.

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