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Apparently, not even the Hubble telescope (which is actually in orbit, not even on Earth) is powerful enough to observe the LVR... will we ever have the technology to observe the LVR from Earth?

(it would be my dream to be able to observe the Apollo relics with a "retail" telescope. I am no expert in optics, so have no idea if for example "computer-enhanced" zooming could work, instead of a giant mirror?)

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    $\begingroup$ Hubble wasn't built to look at meter-scale objects on the Moon, but it has anyway. There are lunar-orbiting spacecraft that can do and already have done the job of imaging Apollo equipment. The "technology" to do so from Earth is nothing more than the right grade of optics. $\endgroup$ – BMF Oct 7 '20 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean "on Earth"? Hubble Space Telescope isn't on Earth. $\endgroup$ – User123 Oct 7 '20 at 19:58
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I don't think so. In order to resolve an object one metre across (as a single pixel) at a distance of 384,400km (the diameter of the Moon's orbit), you would need a telescope mirror about 200 metres in diameter, and to achieve a resolution of 10cm (which you would probably need to form a recognisable image), you would need a telescope mirror with a 2km diameter. Currently the largest Earth based telescope has a 30-metre mirror.

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    $\begingroup$ That would be one hell of a telescope, but certainly not impossible to build from a hypothetical standpoint. $\endgroup$ – BMF Oct 7 '20 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ @BMF Making it steerable would be something of a problem, as would providing adaptive optics for such a beast. I hope I got my calculations right. I had better double check. $\endgroup$ – Mick Oct 7 '20 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ What about, for example, 2 big telescopes 1 km apart? As far as I know, is the combined diameter of 2 telescopes equal to the distance between them. $\endgroup$ – User123 Oct 7 '20 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ @User123 I'm not sure what sort of "images" optical interferometers provide. They may not look anything like the photographs that we are used to. Anyway, I am pretty sure that astronomers are not going to point the Keck Interferometer at the Moon to see if they can spot a lunar rover. $\endgroup$ – Mick Oct 7 '20 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ How did you derive the mirror's diameter? $\endgroup$ – AnnoyinC Oct 9 '20 at 9:18
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A telescope with that resolution would be extremely expensive. Beyond any sort of reason today.

Much of the technology we take for granted was impossible or very difficult when I was born. Back then not many ordinary people had telescopes anywhere the size that are common now. The 200" Palomar was the giant of it's time but today is dwarfed.

There have been some interesting advances in the digital side to "Clean Up" an image. Take a look at what is going on over there.

Never say never. A lot of people have and probably wished they hadn't.

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