Unseen photos of lunar surface
August 28, 2007 7:21 AM   Subscribe

In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive of downloadable images for the general public. Here are the first few, from Apollo 15. (Similar topics previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.)
posted by GrammarMoses (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
"We're scanning the pictures in a very high bit resolution - 14 bits - which means that for each pixel, you have about 16,000 shades of grey," Mark Robinson, a professor of Geological Sciences and the principal investigator on the project, told BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme. [source]
posted by GrammarMoses at 7:27 AM on August 28, 2007

How sad. I was up at 1am but just rested my eyes for a sec....and missed the whole thing. Gah!
posted by Dantien at 8:12 AM on August 28, 2007

You need 14-bit resolution because "the Moon is a very contrasty target".
posted by MtDewd at 8:32 AM on August 28, 2007

so. tired.

it was cool, you guys. totally worth all the vodka/diet rockstar.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:43 AM on August 28, 2007

Ambrosia, that's disgusting. I'm going to have to try it.

That said, it was worth getting up at 4am, even if I did miscalculate and miss the first half, then get yelled at by railroad goons when i tried to set up my camera. I'll post some pics when I put 'em together.
posted by notsnot at 9:45 AM on August 28, 2007

it was FANTASTIC. I am seriously so goddamned tired right now that I can barely type, but it was worth it.

To see that is, I didn't have so much luck with getting shots; I really wished I had some kind of autotracking mount meant for telescopes. To avoid having a blurry moon-related object in my shot I had to make a lot of compromises and in the end am not really too happy with any of the results. This is seriously the best I could do (self link).

Still, totally staying up just to watch. Oh, and awesome post. I'll have to look through the links more later when 1) they stop pretending like I'm on dialup, and 2) I've ceased to be a sleep zombie.
posted by Stunt at 10:28 AM on August 28, 2007

It was definitely worth getting up early for. Very few of my photos (self-link) were even remotely good (most of them were as bad as in that KCBS link).
posted by cog_nate at 11:53 AM on August 28, 2007

Just the other day I placed my hand between me and the ceiling light. Quite fascinating.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:01 PM on August 28, 2007

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