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  Photo: Apollo 11 launch flies past American flag (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Photo: Apollo 11 launch flies past American flag
Apolloman
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posted 08-07-2011 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if this photo is a photo montage or not?

LM-12
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posted 08-07-2011 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like a montage to me. The pitch angle of the Saturn 5 indicates to me that the Apollo 11 altitude is way too high to get that flag in the same shot.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-07-2011 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the original NASA caption, acknowledging it is a composite (emphasis mine).
The American flag heralds the flight of Apollo 11. Man’s first lunar landing mission. The photograph was taken from Cape Kennedy, adjacent to Kennedy Space Center where Apollo 11 lifted off from Pad 39A at 9:32 a.m. EDT. This image was imposed upon the image of the flag filmed a day earlier. 7/16/1969.

Kevmac
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posted 08-07-2011 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about that. I never realized it was a composite. But with the pitch angle comment, of course it is.

LM-12
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posted 08-07-2011 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a similar launch photo of Apollo 7 that remarkably is not a montage. It is NASA photo number 68-HC-642. The image was taken from a C-135 aircraft flying at around 35,000 feet, according to the photo description.

Max Q
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posted 08-08-2011 04:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Montage or not, wow.

Apolloman
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posted 08-08-2011 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much.

garymilgrom
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posted 08-08-2011 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those not familiar with image editing pre-Photoshop that is some excellent work with ruby-lith film. This was a red film that was cut manually to follow the pattern required than put into an optical printer to merge the elements of the two (or more) photos.

Please don't ask me how I know this!!

mjanovec
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posted 08-08-2011 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if the people who have paid good money to have Buzz Aldrin and/or Mike Collins sign this photo are disappointed to find out that it's not an entirely "authentic" image.

Saturn V
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posted 08-08-2011 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saturn V     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, this picture is certainly a composite - angle of the rocket, max Q shocks, washed out color of the sky indicating it is a "zoomed in" picture, etc. Then again I am considered a freak by my friends for knowing these things...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-08-2011 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
not an entirely "authentic" image
While it is a composite, it is an original NASA photo release with its own NASA ID number. I think were the photo a third party's creation, there might be more people concerned about it being a montage, but as a NASA release contemporary to the mission itself, I'd be surprised to learn of many objections. (A comparable example might be the extending of the sky in the early release of this photo.)

LM-12
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posted 08-09-2011 06:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is some good video footage of the Apollo 11 launch that closely matches the view in the photo. It looks like that image was taken about one minute after launch. Does the shock wave occur at MACH 1 or at Max Q?

MACH 1 / 25,736 feet / 66.3 seconds after launch.
Max Q / 44,512 feet / 83.0 seconds after launch.

Apolloman
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posted 08-11-2011 01:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The shockwave occurs at Mach 1 since we see the the singularity Prandtl-Glauert (the cloud of condensation around the structure of Saturn V) specific to the passage of sound barrier!

Look at the mosaic below it sticks well with the available figures.

In addition, the altitude of the Max Q (45000 feet) would not allow such a cloud condensation since the humidity at this altitude is almost non-existent.

A 13 km (45000 feet) flame engine begins to widen.

LM-12
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posted 08-11-2011 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have fine-tuned the figures in my previous post based on information that can be found in Apollo by the Numbers.

Saturn V
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posted 08-11-2011 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saturn V     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stand corrected - mach 1.

I will have to go back and listen to the audio but if memory serves they always say entering area of maximum dynamic pressure when you see the plume of vapor form around the rocket.

robsouth
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posted 08-17-2011 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I asked Sy Liebergot about that Apollo 7 launch image he said, "The picture is definitely a composite. The launch pad was 3 1/2 miles away. The press corps would have been toast."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-17-2011 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can understand why Sy made the comment he did — it is a reasonable conclusion — but it is not a composite.

The photo was taken from a C-135 aircraft using the Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System at an altitude of 35,000 feet. The same plane caught this in-flight shot.

LM-12
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posted 08-17-2011 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 7 Saturn IB was launched from Pad 34, which is about six miles southeast of the VAB. The four other manned Saturn IB flights were all launched from Pad 39B. It seems to me that Sy Liebergot may not have been aware that the Apollo 7 spacecraft in the photo was actually launching from Pad 34 and not Launch Complex 39. Long-range photography can be extremely deceiving.

Quite a unique photograph. It's too bad the photo doesn't extend down to include the launch pad. Then it would all make sense.

The photo was taken about 25 seconds after launch.

onesmallstep
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posted 08-24-2011 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
I wonder if the people who have paid good money to have Buzz Aldrin and/or Mike Collins sign this photo are disappointed to find out that it's not an entirely "authentic" image.
This same image is up for sale at the upcoming RR Space Auction as Lot #452 with the signatures of Kraft, Kranz, Griffin and Lunney. A nice piece to own, 'unauthentic' or not...

voyager1979
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posted 08-26-2011 01:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for voyager1979   Click Here to Email voyager1979     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Apolloman:
I wonder if this photo is a photo montage or not?
Beautiful Picture!!!

mjanovec
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posted 08-26-2011 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
While it is a composite, it is an original NASA photo release with its own NASA ID number. I think were the photo a third party's creation, there might be more people concerned about it being a montage, but as a NASA release contemporary to the mission itself, I'd be surprised to learn of many objections.
I guess I'm nitpicky in this regard, but I've never been a fan of montages... whether they have been created by NASA or by a third party. I prefer photos that depict an "authentic" scene, as one would have seen had they stood in the photographer's shoes. (Of all of the famous historical photos, I can't think of many montages that make the grade.) My thought is that there are so many great authentic images from the space program that nobody needed to create something artificial in order to make the Apollo 11 launch seem more inspiring. I don't mind a little artistic license, but it's not my preference for historic photos.

Think of it this way... would the Earthrise photo from Apollo 8 been as interesting had it been a combination of two separate photos of the earth and the moon, taken at different times?

I don't have a big problem with the Aldrin visor image, because the extension of the sky is an accurate depiction of what we would have seen above Aldrin's head, had Armstrong aimed the camera a little higher. I view it almost like a cropping decision, except it's adding empty space, not removing it. It's not an artificial depiction of something that was never actually seen by the photographer.

In the same respect, I enjoy the moon pan images, because they are generally an accurate depiction of the lunar surface, combining multiple photos to show you a wide angle field of view of one scene. (Of course, I can think of at least one pan that shows the same astronaut twice. )

FFrench
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posted 09-03-2011 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
I don't have a big problem with the Aldrin visor image, because the extension of the sky is an accurate depiction of what we would have seen above Aldrin's head, had Armstrong aimed the camera a little higher.
Actually, that is not the case. By adding just black space, the impression is given that Aldrin did not have an antenna sticking out of his spacesuit OPS - which he did, it was simply cut off by the photo's framing.

Historically inaccurate, then, but I agree that it still makes for a more powerful shot for NASA to add the space above.

LM-12
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posted 09-07-2011 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many of the Shuttle and ISS crew photos could be considered montages too since the crews were and are usually photographed in front of a blank screen with the backgrounds added later. Even some of the STS and ISS mission patches were pasted in after-the-fact. All that photo manipulating makes those pictures somewhat less than authentic. Everything seems so fake nowadays.

Official crew photos should be done more like the one taken for STS-41 Discovery with the T-38 jet for example. Now that's a great crew photo.

The STS-41 photo reminds me of the way official crew photos were done back in the Apollo days. Actual spacecraft, launch vehicles and flight simulators served as the background in those images. You can't beat that.

LM-12
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posted 09-11-2011 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This NASA photo number KSC-68PC-329 of the Apollo 8 launch is also a montage.

canyon42
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posted 09-11-2011 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, and from a purist's point of view that one is REALLY offensive. Not only is it a composite, the moon is shown in a physically impossible aspect and orientation. I know that might not be a big deal to some folks, but to a few of us it certainly is!

LM-12
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posted 09-11-2011 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 8 was launched at 7:51 am EST on December 21, 1968. That was two days after a New Moon on December 19. So the lunar phase shown in the montage is close to correct, but the location of the Moon in the sky is not correct. Is that right?

SilverSnoopy
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posted 09-11-2011 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SilverSnoopy   Click Here to Email SilverSnoopy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there a link to the photos in the photo sets?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-11-2011 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
So the lunar phase shown in the montage is close to correct, but the location of the Moon in the sky is not correct. Is that right?
I recall reading that the moon is shown upside down as it would have appeared in the real sky.

LM-12
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posted 09-11-2011 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure about that Robert. Apollo 8 was launched two days after the New Moon. If the Moon in the photo was flipped upside-down, the lunar phase would be a few days before the New Moon. Does that make sense?

a left-crescent Moon occurs before the New Moon
a right-crescent Moon occurs after the New Moon

quote:
Originally posted by canyon42:
the moon is shown in a physically impossible aspect and orientation

What would have been correct for that launch time? Where was the Moon at launch? The photo is looking east into the sunrise. If the lunar phase was two days past New Moon at launch, wouldn't a right-crescent Moon have been seen close to and just to the left of the Sun that morning?

canyon42
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posted 09-11-2011 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, if it was after the new moon, and the view is to the east, AND the sun is up and to the right (out of view of the photo), then the placement and orientation of the moon could be "correct" as far as it goes. After a new moon the crescent moon appears pointing to the "right" after sunset (in the northern hemisphere) and would actually be following the sun from the lower left (and pointing up to the right) after sunrise. However, such a crescent moon would be virtually impossible to view in that situation, much less photograph along with the Saturn V.

LM-12
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posted 09-11-2011 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What I think is right with the photo is the lunar phase and the direction. There would have been a right-crescent Moon in the eastern sky on the morning of the launch. I don't know if the Moon would have been visible, but it would have been there.

What I think is wrong with the photo and what probably makes it a montage is the size of the Moon and the location. It is too large and too low in the sky. That is my best guess anyway.

FordPrefect
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posted 09-12-2011 04:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FordPrefect     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the time of the Apollo 8 launch (12:51:00, 21 December 1968 (UTC)) the moon, viewed from LC39A, was still well below the horizon (about 20 degrees below). Moonrise on that day, at the location of LC39A was at 14:20 UTC, so about 89 minutes after launch.

This was determined using Celestia, a freeware solar system simulator which is well known for its accuracy.

heng44
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posted 09-12-2011 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isn't there a piece of film on the Spacecraft Films DVD from the same angle? Would be interesting to see if the moon is visible there. I believe there are several photos from that angle that all show the moon.

LM-12
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posted 09-12-2011 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So the Apollo 8 launch took place between sunrise and moonrise. That makes sense. Thanks for all the detailed astronomical information.

NASA photo number S68-56002 shows the same Moon. I guess that photo is a montage also.

LM-12
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posted 09-12-2011 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Internet Archive website has an awesome 45-minute video showing various Apollo Saturn 5 launch views. At 24:30 into the video, there is some great footage of the Apollo 8 launch that matches the view in photo KSC-68PC-329. The area of the sky in the photo that shows the Moon seems to be just out-of-frame in the video, but the launch footage is absolutely spectacular.

LM-12
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posted 01-05-2013 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
There is a similar launch photo of Apollo 7 that remarkably is not a montage. It is NASA photo number 68-HC-642.
Too bad the photo isn't a bit wider because it would show the Apollo 8 spacecraft sitting on pad 39A. The Apollo 8 rollout was two days before the Apollo 7 launch.

LM-12
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posted 10-04-2014 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 8 launch photo KSC-68PC-329 is a montage, as explained earlier.

Here are a few more Pad 39A photos that include the moon. Rocket and destination in the same shot. Would you say these are actual images or montages?

Ben
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posted 10-04-2014 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first three are not, the last one is a montage (or double exposure).

canyon42
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posted 10-05-2014 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, no way is the last one "real." The moon appears much too large in relation to the rocket--the only way to pull that trick off is to shoot the foreground subject from a long distance, which was clearly not the case in this shot. Look at the other shots linked to get a more reasonable idea of how big the moon would have appeared from that distance.

LM-12
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posted 10-17-2014 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Note how the moon changes in these two Apollo 8 group and backup crew photos.


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