When people visited the Moon, they left sizeable items behind. I know that taking picture of this from Earth is incredibly hard, but: Did someone try? And what pictures do we have?

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    $\begingroup$ See space.stackexchange.com/questions/9460/… $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Oct 16 '15 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisR it seems your prediction was spot-on! See below. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 8 '17 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh, I'm not sure what you are referring to. $\endgroup$ – ChrisR Mar 8 '17 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisR oh, when I wrote that, this answer was in it's original location below a different question, it's now been merged here. The other question was from a crank who had written a "this is fake" rant in capital letters, and you had left a comment earlier suggesting something like deniers would just claim any answer was fake. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 9 '17 at 1:59

From Earth, you can't. This is actually quite a common question, and was answered by Telescopes.com. To see the Lunar Rover, for instance, would require a 75m telescope, far larger than anything ever built! The shadow of the Lunar Decent Stage is a bit larger, but even that is quite difficult to achieve, requiring the perfect timing, although even then, it would barely be detectable, and not as definitive proof.

There are two additional things that do have some proof of the Lunar Landings having happened. The first is that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took pictures of the lunar lander sites from orbit, which you can see at the above link. The second is that 3 teams left a retro-reflector, known as the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment on the surface of the Moon. These can be detected by special laser/ telescope pairs, and are quite distinct from areas without the retro-reflectors on the Moon.

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    $\begingroup$ A :) about the flag that the Telescopes.Com article is talking about. It's almost certainly completely faded by now. If it's standing it's just a chunk of white--in other words, we have surrendered the moon! $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Oct 20 '15 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ The telescopes.com article link is dead. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jun 13 '18 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ replacement: the Bad Astronomy blog: blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/08/12/… $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jun 13 '18 at 8:51

Using telescopes on Earth, scientists have been confirming for decades that object placed on the moon by Apollo astronauts are still there. (No dogs were harmed in the making of this video.)

Lunar Libration image from here

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Lunar Laser Ranging images from here

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  • $\begingroup$ This answer has been teleported (ok just merged) from this question - thus the reference to the dog. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 8 '17 at 13:44

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