National Geographic : 1953 Jan
130 Mount Wilson and ralomar Observatories Face to Face with the Moon! The Big Eye Shows Our Satellite as if 200 Miles Away Moon's lack of atmosphere invites no parachute jumps, but it encourages clear, sharp photographs. Close-ups reveal a harsh desert ribbed with mountains, some approaching the height of Everest. Unexposed to erosive wind and rain, the surface features stand eternally changeless. Weird craters appear to have been gouged by meteors. Shining into the craters from the right, the sun here paints crescents of light and leaves pools of shadow. Largest abyss is 150-mile-wide Clavius (center), whose walls rise 12,000 feet. The lower of two fair-sized pits on Clavius's left rim is named for Russell W. Porter, who helped design the Hale telescope. Smallest pits in the floor of Clavius are two to three miles in diameter.