Details
Taken by a camera mounted to the Luna 3 robotic spacecraft

First photograph of the backside of the Moon

Luna 3, October 7, 1959

Vintage gelatin silver print on fiber-based paper, 20.3 x 25.4cm (8 X 10 in), original press photo with “The Daily Telegraph Art Department” credit stamp dated “Oct 1959” and Associated Press caption dated 27/10/59 on the verso
20.3 x 25.4cm (8 X 10 in)

Please note this lot is the property of a consumer. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
Exhibited
Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, La Lune: Du Voyage Réel aux Voyages Imaginaires, April-July 2019; exhibition catalogue, p. 38, no. 33, illustrated.
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Lot Essay

[Associated Press caption] Today’s picture by radio from Moscow
The other side of the Moon
This picture of the hidden side of the Moon, made on October 7 from Lunik III, Russia’s “automatic interplanetary station”, was released from Moscow today October 27. It is man’s first glimpse of nearly a third of the Moon’s surface which can never be seen from the Earth.

The Luna 3 spacecraft returned the historic, never-before seen views ever of the far side of the Moon at a distance of about 65,000 km after Luna 3 had passed the Moon and looked back at the sunlit far side.

The photographs were very noisy and of low resolution, but many features could be recognized and it showed that the far side of the Moon was very different from the near side, most noticeably in its lack of lunar maria (the dark areas).The photographs caused excitement and interest when they were published around the world, and a tentative Atlas of the Far Side of the Moon was created. The dark spot at lower left was named Mare Moscoviense, the small dark circle at upper left with the white dot in the center was named Tsiolkovsky, showing the crater and its central peak.

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