How Are We Able See So Much Detail On the Surface Of the Moon and How Do Shadows Help Us Distinguish Features?

The Moon is relatively close to Earth, and so it is the most obvious object in the sky, aside from the Sun.

It is also huge for a satellite, being one-quarter the size of Earth.

The Moon’s gravity is not strong enough to hold an atmosphere, so there are no winds to fill the craters and crevices with dust.

There is no wind, and no proof of water, to erode mountains.

Without water, the Moon has no lakes to hide ground formations or vegetation to obscure its contours.

Almost every detail is visible.

It also helps a lot when the sun creates shadows on the surface as it makes the distinct features easier to see.

We always see the same side of the Moon from Earth because the Moon rotates around its axis once and orbits Earth once in the same period of time: 27.3 days.