If a Apollo type Moon mission happened today would we be able to see it transit in Lunar orbit? I know we can't see the Landing sites of the Apollo but could we see the Command Module and its shadow orbiting the moon?

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    $\begingroup$ The Apollo CSM is not large enough to see from Earth, see space.stackexchange.com/questions/27831/… $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ I knew apollo wasnt big enough to see on the surface but wasnt sure about when its away from the glare of the surface and the fact it has a Shiny surface itself. Hopefully next moon mission has a bigger CSM :) Thanks for the answers $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2018 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Let's assume you are not only looking with your eyes, but Hubble Space Telescope. HST has a resolution of about 0.05 arcseconds, or 2.424068e-7 radians. The Moon is about 384,400 km. That comes to be about 100m, just to see it as a resolved dot.

Now, one could theoretically see an unresolved dot that is smaller, but it would be extremely difficult with a noisy background like the Moon present.

What would be more likely is if a major propulsive event happened that wasn't behind the moon, it might be able to be seen. Still, that isn't very likely.


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